Wednesday 29 October 2014

It was a dark grey rainy day with bad visibility, and you will have to excuse some drab pictures. There were plenty of large birds in the air. A skein of Greylag Geese arrived in Kensington Gardens ...

... just as a party of Mute Swans were flying from the Serpentine to the Round Pond, watched by the rider of the Physical Energy group.

The number of swans on the Round Pond is now back to normal, over 60 on most days.

The little band of Red Crested Pochards have now established a permanent resting place on the Serpentine island. I could see 18 here, and there were probably another four out of sight.

There are still only a few Common Gulls. This is not one of the two I saw first, since they had odd-coloured legs and this one's are the classic Common Gull pale yellow. Although it is noticeably larger than the Black-Headed Gulls next to it, the difference is much less apparent at a distance when a mixed flock is milling about. They can be spotted in flight by their black wingtips with a white 'window'.

The pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gulls were in their usual place on the roof of the Dell restaurant, choosing their next meal. The male is on the right, distinguishable by his bright yellow legs.

The male Tawny Owl was inside his nest hole, out of sight from the ground but visible to a bunch of Jays and Magpies that were screeching at him. The male Little Owl was in his usual place on the chestnut tree, despite the rain.

To brighten things up, here is a splendid picture taken yesterday by Andy Sunters, showing a Jay taking a peanut from my hand. This is accomplished in a single swoop, grabbing the nut in full flight.

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