(After this post I will probably go quiet till March, because I am heading to Zambia today. But when I come back, brace yourselves!)
I am testing my new camera before heading off, so each morning I wander round the Serpentine in Hyde Park. It is Valentine’s Day as I write this, and clearly Hallmark picked mid-February after watching London’s waterfowl. The males are engaging in two activities that begin with “f”, the first of which is fighting.
Here is a coot, psyching himself up for his joust. Pay attention to the feet, they are his weapons.
Coots have an amazing technique. They launch themselves out of the water by using one foot as a sort of single waterski:
and the other foot is then used to karate-kick the adversary in the chest:
and with luck submerge the poor sod.
The swans just push each other around and chase their competitors away:
Then the victor (possibly Zeus in swan’s form?) reaps the spoils (and this is the other word that begins with “f”).
To calm you down, here is how the greylag geese spend Valentine’s Day: some mutual grooming, a little cuddle…
One thing leads to another,
and the result is a happy gander:
The upshot of all this is apparent when, outside the café, I almost trip over an Egyptian Goose family (such a cosmopolitan city we live in), recently enlarged by seven new chicks (three of which are still hiding underneath her skirts.)
After all this excitement, you probably need a rest, so luckily for you there will be two weeks of silence from me..