Sunday 24 August 2014

The Hobbies were in what has now become their usual tree. Some time after I had photographed this one, Steve told me that he had found the whole family of four together.

The House Martins have left the lake and must be heading south on their migration to Africa, so the Hobbies should be off soon too, following House Martins, Swallows and Swifts and doing their best to eat them on the way.

Apart from these glamorous raptors, it was a day of ordinary birds. The three Great Crested Grebe chicks from the island were out near the boat hire platform squeaking for food. The bare red patch on the top of this one's head, which stimulates its parent to feed it, is now almost completely feathered over and will be gone in a few days.

The young Grey Wagtail was running about inside one of the floating reed beds, finding plenty of insects.

This Mallard was doing the same on the abandoned Coot nest near Peter Pan. The nest was occupied for months while the Coots tried unsuccessfully to raise three broods of chicks, during which time it mus have become heavily infested with bugs.

A Cormorant was looking unusually glossy and elegant in the sunshine on the fallen horse chestnut tree in the Long Water.

On the edge of the Serpentine, a Feral Pigeon was having a bath.

In the little pool at the top of the waterfall in the Dell there were still several late Common Blue damselflies and this elegant red Common Darter dragonfly.

Here is a sign of approaching autumn: a field mushroom in the grass near the Hobbies' tree.

They are quite common in the park but you seldom see them, because enthusiastic mushroom hunters come out at dawn to pick them.

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