Saturday 19 November 2016

Two Canada Geese were having quite a severe fight near the Dell restaurant. Usually the scuffles of ganders to impress their mates simply consist of rushing at another gander and chasing him off, to return to a honking triumph ceremony with the female goose. But if the gander that is being attacked considers that he is being insolently harassed by a low-ranking bird, he will hold his ground, and then things can get rough.

After a minute or so, one of the geese did yield and fly away, and no one was hurt, and there was the usual ceremony by the winner and his mate.

There are just three Gadwalls on the Long Water, this pair and a spare drake. These peaceful birds happily feed side by side without feeling the need to impress anyone.

A Great Crested Grebe was in shallow water at the Serpentine outflow, poking around in the dead leaves on the bottom trying to find a sheltering fish.

Next to it, the usual young Grey Heron was picking small objects out of the water and eating them. They looked like some kind of insect larvae.

In the Diana enclosure, a young Herring Gull was doing the worm dance.

I think it must have learned this trick from an older gull -- surely it can't be hard-wired into its brain. I have also seen a Common Gull doing it, but never a Lesser Black-Back. It's also notable that pigeon killing is still practised here only by Lesser Black-Backs and hasn't spread to Herring Gulls, as if these two very similar species refuse to learn from each other.

The fountain, which was closed for maintenance, has been reopened and the water is running again, to the delight of a Black-Headed Gull that was strolling around in the rapids.

A Carrion Crow preferred to wade around in a muddy puddle. It wasn't driinking or looking for food. It just seemed to enjoy paddling, like a child.

A Cormorant took off from the Long Water. They need quite a long run to get airborne.

There was a good selection of birds eating rowan fruit, including a Magpie ...

.. and a Blackbird.

Some Mistle Thrushes flew away before I could get a picture.

The usual Chaffinch was there. He has just spat out the outside of the fruit and is about to swallow the pips.

A Rose-Ringed Parakeet in a hawthorn near the Rose Garden was also dribbling fruit. They waste a lot by chewing it messily, unlike thrushes which swallow berries whole. It seems that they are enjoying the sweetness.

A Wren was hopping around in the weeping beech nearby, a tree that looks as if it had been turned inside out.

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