Thursday 26 December 2013

The Lesser Black-Backed and Herring Gulls' crayfish predation is getting more ambitious, perhaps because they are learning from each other. This young Lesser Black-Back had dredged up a particularly large one near the bridge.

After trying to swallow it whole -- unsuccessfully, no wonder -- the gull took to the air and carried it away to a quiet spot somewhere on the Long Water so that it could rip it up undisturbed by the other gulls fishing in the same place.

The pair of Egyptian Geese whose home territory is under the Henry Moore arch had flown to the Italian Garden, where they were preening side by side, which seems to be part of a courtship ritual, and then displaying and honking.

It looks as if they are thinking of breeding. Not only are they hopeless parents, they have no idea of timing. Maybe this is to be expected, as they are an African species found on both sides of the equator, and in their native habitat there would be little variation in day length.

I have published several pictures of Moorhens knocking Black-Headed Gulls off the posts where they stand. For a change, this gull decided that it wouldn't be moved. The Moorhen came up along the chain from one side, was confronted by the gull, and had to retreat.

Then it approched from behind, and the gull swivelled round and took a peck at it. This surprised the Moorhen so much that it lost its footing and fell off, a most unusual event for such an agile and well balanced climber.

The male Tawny Owl was back in his usual place on the balcony in the nest tree. A pair of Jays had a brief go at him, but he was not disturbed.

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