Sunday 8 December 2013

A second-winter Great Black-Backed Gull was cruising around the Long Water.

This is probably the same one as we saw on 17 October, but not the same one as was here last winter in December and January, which looked the same age as this one is now.

Plenty of Common Gulls have arrived, most of them at the Round Pond and the rest on the Serpentine. Here a couple take off in front of the Serpentine island to harry another which had got a bit of bread.

There were a fair number of Mistle Thrushes on Buck Hill and near the Rima relief. A pair in the rowan trees were chased out by an invasion of hungry Starlings which descended on the tree where they had been eating berries.

A Blackbird in an adjacent tree wasn't bothered, and went on feeding.

The wire basket under the bridge had again attracted the single Cormorant that I photographed yesterday. It is catching so many fish in this place that I am amazed that other Cormorants haven't crowded in for their share. When it had gone away, two Great Crested Grebes had a dispute over the ownership of the basket. But, as usual with these birds, they contented themselves with circling and diving and making territorial calls, and avoided fighting. I confess that I had been hoping they would fight, so that I could get some better pictures than I did or their last encounter, which I had had to take from a distance.

In the willow tree on the other side of the bridge, a Moorhen was climbing around with an agility that one does not expect in a water bird.

This may be one of the pair that nest in this tree every year. I have still not managed to see where the nest is, but it is certainly a long way up the tree and I have seen them climbing to reach it.

The Tawny Owls are less visible than in recent days, and I had to visit the tree several times before the female came out.

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