Friday 30 December 2016

On a day of thick fog it was hard to see anything, let alone photograph it. But at least the frost is gone for the time being, and the hungry Blackbirds can go about their usual business of hunting worms.

The female Little Owl in the oak tree near the Albert Memorial could be seen vaguely from 40 feet away.

The one in the lime near the Henry Moore sculpture, twice as far off, was so hard to see that I wasn't sure I was photographing an owl at all.

But my faithful Pentax K-1 camera with its 450mm zoom lens can see more than the human eye, and ruthless computer processing can rescue some kind of an image from a uniformly dark grey picture.

I didn't see this happening either: a Cormorant was washing in the Long Water, flapping and making short dives. While it was under, it caught a fish and ate it while it continued washing.

There were five Grey Herons in the nests and trees on the island, including two together on the middle nest, which has now been repaired and enlarged. They saw someone on the shore who might have been about to feed them, and all swooped down to ground level together.

The young heron at the east end of the Serpentine, not seen for several weeks, has returned to its usual place on the reed raft that was stripped of plants when the Mute Swans nested there. This is the heron that got a piece of plastic net stuck on its beak, and almost starved to death before it was caught and extricated.

A Moorhen climbed briskly on to a post at Peter Pan.

There were two Greylag Geese near the Dell restaurant with unusually bright deep orange feet. This one was very aggressive, and attacked other geese as well as the Lesser Black-Backed Gull in the background.

Greylags normally have pink or pinkish-orange feet, or a butterscotch colour during the first year. I wonder to what extent foot colour is hereditary, and how much is caused by a diet unusually rich in carotenoid pigments. You would think they got plenty of these from eating ordinary grass.

There was a loud tapping noise at the Lido. It was a Lesser Black-Backed Gull which had found a really stale bit of biscuit or crust, too hard to swallow whole, and was smashing it against the ground to break it.

A young Herring Gull was amusing itself by running around in the rapids at the Diana fountain. It could just keep its footing until it ventured too far down the curved slope, got washed away and had to take off hastily.

One of the Nuthatches came out of the leaf yard to be fed.

I was hoping to entice them down to feed off my hand this winter -- one of them has already come down twice -- but they have got so used to being fed off the fence by various people that they probably won't take the plunge now.

However, the Robin at the east end of the Lido, who used to be very shy, is getting more confident and should be coming along soon.

No comments:

Post a Comment