Thursday 21 September 2023

Sunshine and showers

The female Peregrine was preening on the tower of the Knightsbridge Barracks. I've had a report, so far unverified, that a pair has been nesting on the Trellick Tower two miles to the northwest, and from observations in previous years I think it's the same pair. There's no sign of young, though.

The dominant Robin at the Queen's Gate crossing of the Flower Walk looked out from a pyracantha bush.

Along the path, a Blue Tit in the corkscrew hazel had only one foot. It was perching quite easily and flew on to another twig.

Several rats were running around in the borders. They looked healthy and shiny, unlike the squirrels which are often pretty manky.

There was a Black-Headed Gull on the kerb of the Italian Garden with an orange plastic ring, 2V65. This is one of Bill Haines's ringed gulls. I could also read the metal ring, EA74195. This is an oddly early ring number, I think going back well before 2000. I asked Bill about this and he said that he had put on the metal ring and the plastic one earlier this year. The BTO had sent him 200 rings with EA numbers two years ago, and he thought they must have had them unused in a drawer somewhere.

It started raining hard. A Grey Heron landed in a tree.

One of the young Moorhens was being absolutely pelted, but seemed not to mind.

It found a small worm in a puddle.

It was only after the downpour relented that I was able to get round the lake. A Cormorant on a post at the island was preening its chin with a foot ...

... and a heron was doing the same in a treetop.

The bully Mute Swan was pointlessly chasing another away.

Behind the Albert Memorial a Feral Pigeon was eating a low-growing plant in a puddle. I looked it up on PlantNet, which said it was Greater Swinecress, Lepidium squamatum.

The female Little Owl at the Round Pond emerged from shelter and perched in a horse chestnut tree.

The Great Crested Grebe chicks from the bridge were on the Serpentine, calling nonstop and being fed every few minutes.

One of the chicks from the middle of the Long Water had been given a fish as large as it can swallow, and rinsed it carefully so that it went down more easily.

The single chick from the island always stays close to its parents.

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