Friday 18 December 2015

The mystery of the Grey Heron eating a large piece of meat has been solved. Of course, someone had given it to the heron, and today I saw her feeding them again, as well as giving bread to the geese. The pieces are too large for the birds to swallow easily, though of course herons want the biggest bit they can get.

One had been fed already, and two more were waiting their turn amid the mob.

Park visitors tend to give birds bits of food that are too large for them. This Black-Headed Gull has having a hard time swallowing a chunk of bread, though it managed to eventually.

Pied Wagtails don't have this problem, since they live on tiny insects and grubs. One was running briskly along the edge of the Serpentine.

A Cormorant flew in and landed at the line of posts that stretch across the lake from Peter Pan.

These posts originally marked the limit of the area where people were allowed to row boats. You can see the remains of the chains that used to stretch between them. Now the Long Water is completely off limits to boats, which is good for birds if less fun for humans.

Another Cormorant had brought up a fish tangled in weed, and was shaking it vigorously to separate them.

The southeast corner of the Serpentine has chunks of brick and stone along the edge, which are fished up by gulls as playthings -- do the birds see them as representing eggs?

The chunks got there a few years ago when Red Bull were having one of their silly birdman events, with people wearing homemade wings jumping off a tall pier. The pier was stabilised with twenty tons of rubble. When the event finished, the builders left the rubble in the lake -- it originally came above the surface of the water -- and the park management feebly failed to make them take it out.

While the dismal funfair is in progress, the park's Starlings gather in trees around the enclosure. Then they launch mass raids into the fair to grab food.

In the rowan trees on Buck Hill, a Redwing picked the last berry off a twig.

Other birds, such as Mistle Thrushes and this Blackbird, were collecting fallen berries in the grass underneath. But really the rowan show is over for this year.

There was no sign of the Black Swan. I went to the Round Pond too, and didn't find him there.

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