Saturday 4 January 2014

Another very ordinary day, but at least the female Tawny Owl added a bit of distinction to the proceedings. (I wrote 'male' when I put this post up, but this is definitely the female. I wasn't expecting her, and carelessly forgot to look closely at the picture.)

Only Paul Turner and I were there to admire this fine bird, as the bad weather earlier in the day had kept people out of the park.

The black-faced Mute Swan is still on the lake.

He looked blacker than ever, and the knob on his bill seemed larger. Looking back to the picture I took on 14 July last year, I think this is really so. There can't be two swans with this peculiarity on the lake.

It was business as usual for the Cormorants fishing near the bridge, and here a perch meets its end.

Paul said that earlier he had seen a Cormorant and a Great Crested Grebe fishing side by side, apparently without conflict. Grebes are faster than Cormorants and can scoot out of the way if trouble looms.

Just above, on the bridge arch, a Great Tit was hanging acrobatically from an overhang in the stonework.

The slight roughness of the Portland limestone gives just enough purchase for its claws. This bridge was designed by John Rennie, who also designed the last but one London Bridge -- the one that is now at Lake Havasu in Arizona -- and the two much resemble each other.

After some recent pictures of glamorous male Pochards, here is a female Pochard looking quietly elegant, with delicate frosty patterns on the feathers of her back and sides.

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