Friday 3 November 2023

Cormorant catches a perch

A Cormorant was fishing under the bridge, allowing a top view from the parapet. It came up with a perch, which has to be swallowed head first because of the spines on its dorsal fin. It tossed the fish into the air to turn it round, then manoeuvred it to get it into the right position for swallowing. And down the unlucky perch went. I think the sequence is interesting enough to show all the stages -- I hope you do too.

The Great Crested Grebes from the nest by the bridge suddenly decided to take off side by side. They have got their flight feathers back after moulting, and wanted to try them out in case an early frost forces them to fly up the river.

A female Tufted Duck on the Serpentine preened busily, and had a little shrug to settle her feathers.

Starlings hung around the Lido restaurant waiting to scavenge, some passing the time by bathing. When they got their chance they had to contend with Feral Pigeons, and with the Carrion Crow who is the boss here.

The young Grey Heron seems to have settled in now. We can expect him to get bolder until finally he starts jumping on tables and becomes unbearable like his predecessor.

The female Peregrine was on the barracks, looking happier than in yesterday's rain, and gazing around the wide view from her perch.

The female Little Owl at the Round Pond didn't come out of her hole all day. The horse chestnut tree where she used to perch is losing its leaves fast, and is no longer such an attractive place ...

... not least because there are a lot of Magpies around. One perched cheekily on the side entrance to the hollow tree.

Several Pied Wagtails were running around on the grass below.

A flight of Long-Tailed Tits passed through the Rose Garden.

There are Wrens all around the Long Water. This one was near the Henry Moore sculpture.

The Rose-Ringed Parakeets, so well camouflaged in summer, are becoming visible as the leaves turn brown. I didn't know what this tree in the Rose Garden was, and looked it up. It's a Japanese Zelkova, Z. serrata, and it's a few yards from the other Zelkova, the enormous Caucasian Elm Z. carpinifolia.

The fatsia bush near the bridge was full of Common Wasps.


  1. That poor fish !!!..... Your pic of the heron is the best one yet !!!.regards, Stephen ..

    1. Well, a Cormorant's got to do what a Cormorant does, and at least the end of the perch was swift.

  2. Yes, mercifully !! least the peregrine looked a bit less miserable !!....regards, Stephen.

  3. Today seems to have been quite a good day for you. The Grebes flying and the incredible Cormorant sequence! The Peregrine seems to be happy and the weather was not that bad until the late afternoon.

    1. Yes, a good day. But I fear we aren't going to see much more of the lovely owl.

  4. Cormorants are very good at defying physics, or at least physical boundaries.
    I think the Little Owl will soon settle down for a cozy winter. She will be missed, but as absence makes the heart grow fonder let us console ourselves with the thought that we'll be all the happier for her reappearance when the weather is milder.

    1. She does like to look out on the world, so I think we'll sometimes see her in the familiar place at the back of the hole. It's always nearly the same photograph, bit it's good to see her face.