Tuesday 24 June 2014

The Grey Heron fishing under the Italian Garden fountain caught a roach.

When you look over the parapet into the semicircular wall of the old water intake for the fountain, you can see that it is teeming with medium-sized fish, sheltering under the iron grating that covers this odd Victorian device. But there are gaps in the grating, and the heron knows where they are.

Yesterday I photographed a Blackbird catching worms in a patch of leafmould. Today he was back in exactly the same place -- and no wonder, considering the quantity of worms he catches.

But this time I saw how he was doing it: he patters his feet on the ground, in exactly the same way as a Herring Gull does -- see my post of 26 February.

This is supposed to imitate the sound of rain, which stimulates the worms to come to the surface. But who knows what goes through a worm's little mind when it feels the vibration?

The Little Owl was on his usual branch, stoically ignoring the tremendous din of two large mowers cutting the grass underneath the tree.

I couldn't see any of the Tawny Owls, hardly surprisingly as they are now ranging over a large area and the only way to find them is to listen -- for the owlets calling or the sound of other birds mobbing them.

The moulting Greylag Geese are regrowing their wing feathers.

The teenage Moorhen on the edge of the Serpentine is now developing its adult red bill and yellow feet, though they are still rather shadowy.

It usually stands under an iron post holding a floating ring for people who fall into the lake. This shelters it from the feet of unobservant pedestrians who walk at birds as if they didn't exist.

The two youngest Mute Swan cygnets are now a bit larger, but still enchantingly fluffy.

As people go past, they tell their children the peculiarly stupid story of The Ugly Duckling. I am amazed that Hans Christian Andersen, and the parents, didn't notice how beautiful cygnets are.

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