Wednesday, 23 November 2022

Cheating swan

This may be the last picture we get of a Little Owl this year. Richard Oxborough got a shot of the teenager at the Round Pond as it emerged briefly from its hole in spite of the chilly wind.


This male Chaffinch in the Flower Walk is getting quite bold and coming out of the front of the bushes to be fed. He won't come to your hand -- Chaffinches seldom do -- but will fly down to take pine nuts from the ground. His mate is much shyer and lurks at the back of the bushes.


Both the female Coal Tit ...


... and the Blue Tit in the corkscrew hazel will perch on your finger to collect their pine nuts.


A flock of Long-Tailed Tits crossed the bridge. I just managed to get an indifferent shot of one of them in an oak tree.


A Starling at the Dell restaurant came down for a bathe and a bit of investigation in the dead leaves at the water's edge.


A Magpie posed grandly on one of the metal crowns that form the chimneys in the spherical gas streetlamps that line the Serpentine.
 

The female Peregrine was on the barracks tower.


A fine picture by Barry Jones, taken on Friday, of the same Peregrine flying over Kensington Gardens. She has a much whiter front than her mate.


The number of Cormorants on the lake continues to fall as they exhaust the supply of fish, but there were still three on the fallen poplar at the Vista, sharing a branch with a Tufted Duck.



Another, having worked through one of the fountain pools in the Italian Garden, jumped out to try its luck in the next pool.


The male Mute Swan from the Italian Garden (on the right here) left his mate in the fountain pool and came down to the Long Water, where he was flirting with the widowed female of the dominant pair. His mate, with whom he has only been for a couple of months, couldn't see him here. Cormorants surveyed the shameful scene.


A view from another angle, showing the metal ring on the male's leg and the female's plastic ring Orange 4DBE. I must read the male's ring the next time I see him ashore.


A pair of Mallards preened in the low sunshine on the Diana fountain landing stage.


There was a very small dinosaur on the other side of the lake.


Mario has been back to investigate the fungi at the base of a plane tree near the Physical Energy statue. When they first appeared on 12 November it wasn't clear whether they were puffballs or very new Shaggy Scalycap mushrooms. They looked quite like Common Puffballs but it wouldn't be usual to find these growing on a tree. Now that they have grown a bit bigger he has definitely identified them as Stump Puffballs, Apioperdon pyriforme, so called for their pear shape -- and they do look like little brown pears. This is his picture.


The Round Pond, windy and clear of trees, is a popular place for kite flying. An aerofoil kite is very powerful but quite difficult to launch and needs skill to control.

8 comments:

  1. It's a shame the chaffies are not so forthcoming at feeding time. On my first visit to The Gardens back in 2014, a male of the species came straight down for a peanut, which was a huge thrill, but it's been years since any of them took food. ­čś×

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    1. Well, I have had two Chaffinches come to my hand over the past few years. And perhaps this one will reconsider when seeing a constant stream of Great Tits. With the arrival of cold weather my hand is like Tempelhof airfield during the Berlin airlift.

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    2. So many tiny C54 Skymasters flying to your hand!
      Tin├║viel

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    3. Except, of course, that they're taking things rather than bringing them.

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  2. What is the world coming to. Swans being unfaithful? St John neglected to add that as one of the signs of the coming of apocalypse.

    "Starlings, leaves, sunlight" sounds like the title of a wonderful story.
    Tin├║viel

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    1. I suppose you could say in the male's favour that he is still looking for a permanent mate. The bond seems to take some time to strengthen. And, whatever virtues of fidelity swans may or may not have, you don't expect them to be kind. Anyway, all this is still developing and we shall have to see how it turns out in the end.

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  3. If that is the final shot of a Little Owl this year- you're going out on a high.

    Good to see the Peregrine in flight-such powerful masters of the sky!

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    1. It has been a wonderful year for seeing Little Owls and watching their families growing up.

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