Thursday 15 October 2015

Jays disappear from view in the late summer and reappear in the autumn. During that time they are gathering and burying many thousands of nuts to last them through the winter. They are known to have a prodigious memory for all the hiding places they have used.

The Black Swan was on the Serpentine near the Dell restaurant, touting for food from visitors along with the Mute Swans. Wherever it came from, it is a bird quite used to park life. The other swans were giving it a wide berth. Black Swans, although smaller than Mute Swans, are very aggressive and can dominate them. Feral Black Swans are reported to have driven their white relatives off some of the ponds they have colonised.

In the little pool at the top of the Dell waterfall, a Black-Headed Gull was pecking busily at the surface of the water. It was picking up small yellowish larvae that were floating there.

On the south shore of the Serpentine a Carrion Crow was pecking bits of chocolate out of what looked like the packaging of a Kinder Egg, though the lettering was in Polish. The rubbish lying around the park is amazingly cosmopolitan: sweet packets with Arabic lettering, Polish beer cans and Russian cigarette packets.

A young Herring Gull chased the crow off, but was disappointed in how little was left in the egg and discarded it, preferring a dead perch that had washed up on the shore.

Meanwhile the crow had found the carcase of a pigeon left by the notorious Lesser Black-Backed Gull, and carried it away.

A Wren was creeping unobtrusively down a tree near Peter Pan.

The female Little Owl was in her usual place in this year's nest tree. I couldn't see the male.

The number of rabbits near the Henry Moore sculpture is increasing again after being very low for some months. Three young ones were out on the grass until a Grey Heron arrived, at which they all fled into the bushes.

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