Thursday 15 January 2015

The Scaup is still on the Round Pond, for the fourth day. Here he is next to a male Tufted Duck, showing that he is a little larger than his close relative, and also the difference in the iridescence of the head feathers.

This Black-Headed Gull is a visitor from Belgium, and has a ring from the Natural History Museum in Brussels, number 7T94602. It is beginning to get the dark brown head of its summer breeding plumage.

The swan island in the Long Water is complete, though it will take a while before the transplanted reeds recover -- after which, if the swans take up their new nest site, they will trample them down again.

The area from which the reeds were taken, now reduced in size, has been bordered with stakes and bundles of twigs lashed on horizontally to form a definite shoreline. This should stop it collecting the rubbish that drifts up the lake and made the previous reed beds into an eyesore, as you can see from the background of this picture of a young Grey Heron in the unaltered reed bed on the east side.

A Blackbird was standing in one of the shallow pools in front of the Rima relief, vigorously tossing wet leaves around. Presumably there are small semi-aquatic creatures in there somewhere, though I didn't see what the bird found.

One of the Coal Tits in the leaf yard came to take food from my hand, just once, after which it lapsed into its former shyness. It is progress of a sort.

The male Tawny Owl was in his tree, awake and moving around restlessly. He gave me a grave stare.

This pair of Great Crested Grebes at the east end of the Serpentine seem to have come together in the past few days. Forming a pair is a serious business for grebes; if it results in eggs being laid they will stay together for life. The male is in summer breeding plumage and the female still in plain winter plumage, but grebes don't seem to take much notice of that.


  1. I'd have seen the Scaup and thought moulting mallard!! Great ID

    1. Not me who spotted it first -- it's been here since Monday.