Thursday 9 October 2014

Four Mandarin drakes were chasing a female, and each other, on the Long Water. They seem to be unusually boisterous this year. Evidently there is a surplus of unattached males and finding a mate is difficult.

There are lots of Cormorants, both here on the Long Water and on the Serpentine, and more flew overhead, their direction suggesting that they were going from Battersea to Regent's Park.

It was a windy day. As soon as this Moorhen turned the wrong way it was transformed into something resembling a feather duster.

I think that the two Shovellers in the background are drakes coming out of eclipse, and the one in the foreground is further ahead with the transformation, with only a few speckled feathers on his white front and brown sides. They are feeding under the dead willow tree near the Italian Garden.

Just up the path, Charlie, Melissa and Kevin, the Carrion Crows, had turned up to beg for peanuts. They were followed by a bunch of Magpies trying to grab their food. Here six of them are watching for Charlie to make a wrong move.

Magpies are always on the watch and don't miss anything. They are also lightning-fast and frequently beat Crows and Jays to food.

The Nuthatches were out in the leaf yard again, running up and down the branches with their long hooked claws.

The male Tawny Owl was on the beech tree nest to the nest tree, in exactly the same place as yesterday.

The male Little Owl stayed inside his nest tree till the wind died down a bit, then emerged to stand in the rain.

Virginia Grey reports that a pair of Egyptian Geese on the round pond have just hatched eight young. These African birds don't understand the northern seasons, and breed at unpredictable times.


  1. I saw the eight Egytian Geese chicks and they were struggling to stand still in the strong winds we had today. There isn't much shelter at the round pond. They'll have to toughen up quick I suppose. Sue.

    1. At least this weather helps to keep the dogs and their lunatic owners away.

  2. Wonderful series of observations and photos, yet again, despite the weather. The windblown feathers on the Moorhen are adorable and the leaves in the water very pretty as well as evocative of the season.

    1. Yes I second that, Johanna. Lovely photos Ralph and I've been showing my work colleagues your blog - they love it too! I'm keeping a look out for the lame goose.