Saturday 31 January 2015

The Scaup was still on the Round Pond, staying in the middle so that he had to be photographed from an inconvenient distance.

The rain didn't deter a Pied Wagtail hunting around the edge of the pond. You can see that it has picked up a good deal of mud on its beak from poking about in the wet grass.

A party of Mute Swans left the Serpentine and headed for the Round Pond.

This is where the low-status swans without a hope of claiming a nest site live. It is not a very attractive place, but there is enough to eat and they are not constantly beaten up by the dominant swans. The single young swan on the Italian Garden pond has chosen a different, though lonely, solution.

There was a dense crowd of Shovellers next to the reed bed beside the ornamental rock near the Italian Garden -- this reed bed has not been altered by the recent works. They have been in this exact spot for several days, so there must be an unusual amount of food in the water here.

The works in the lake continue with the construction of a shingle beach at the Vista. The idea is that it will attract wading birds. In recent years various species of waders have paid brief visits to the park -- several kinds of sandpiper, Dunlin, Ruff, Lapwing -- and it seems a reasonable hope.

This female Tufted Duck on the Serpentine has a lot of white feathers at the base of her bill.

It is not unusual for female Tufted Ducks, but it causes confusion because it makes them look like female Scaups, which routinely have this white patch. However, Tufted Ducks have tufts -- those of the female are short, but clearly visible -- and Scaups don't.

The wire baskets of twigs near the bridge still have fish in them, though the stock has been much depleted by Cormorants. A Great Crested Grebe caught a perch.

The male Tawny Owl emerged in mid-afternoon, at my third visit to his tree.

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