Saturday 17 January 2015

The young Great Black-Backed Gull was on the Serpentine, on the jetty of Bluebird Boats.

I was hoping that a Lesser Black-Back or a Herring Gull would stand beside it to give an impression of its size, but although there were about 50 other gulls on the platform they were all giving this fearsome creature a wide berth. So here is a picture of a Lesser Black-Back the same age -- a year and a half.

It is not just smaller but noticeably lighter in build, and its dark grey adult feathers are spreading in a block rather than gradually mixing with the juvenile barred plumage. When the Lesser Black-Back grows up it will have yellow feet and pale green eyes, but those of the Great Black-Back will stay the same colour as they are now.

The Scaup -- also growing his adult feathers but he is less than a year old -- was still on the Round Pond. He stayed obstinately in the middle of the pond, so this is a long shot.

While I was chasing round the pond trying to get as close as possible, I was followed by two Jackdaws demanding biscuits.

These birds are going to get very cheeky, but judging by the popularity of the Jackdaws in Richmond Park, which try to steal food from the café tables, I don't think people are going to mind. They are birds of great charm.

The male Tawny Owl came out in his usual place in the middle of the afternoon.

The two Coal Tits followed me all the way from his tree to the far end of the leaf yard. I can't resist taking pictures of these tiny creatures.

One of the Dunnocks at the Lido came out and poked about under a bench. There have been Dunnocks around the east end of the restaurant for many years, though you only see these shy birds occasionally.

The new island in the Long Water is already attracting birds -- as well as this Grey Heron and Canada Geese, it has also had Mallards on it.

The Mute Swans for whom it was designed are staying away from the disturbance caused by the works, but no doubt they will be back as soon as things quieten down, and it seems almost certain that they will take possession of their new home as soon as they think of nesting.

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