Monday, 24 June 2019

This Grey Heron's nest on the Serpentine island was built long after the others, and it was not clear whether anything was going on there. But today there was the sound of a chick clacking its beak, begging to be fed.
The heron that hangs around the Dell had abandoned its attempts to get food from the restaurant, and was doing an honest day's fishing at the Serpentine outflow.

A Common Pochard has ducklings on the Long Water, here seen looking down from the bridge. This is the first time I have known this species to breed here (though two Red-Crested Pochard ducklings fledged successful some years ago).
There were five Red-Crested Pochards on the lake, all drakes, but only four would get into the same picture.

The new Egyptian Goose family still has seven goslings ...

... and the Greylags are hanging on to their six.

There is a Coot nest on a moored pedalo. Sadly, it has no chance of success, for when the chicks go into the water they will have no way of climbing up again. Also, it was surrounded by Herring Gulls, whose dropping streak the boat. Thanks to the people at Bluebird Boats for taking me out to see it.

The Coots evicted from their nest under the willow tree by a Mute Swan have returned to it, and are doggedly building it up again.

The pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull had caught a Feral Pigeon next to the bridge, so there was a top view of him enjoying his lunch.
The Little Owl near the Albert Memorial was in a place where she was very hard to see, let alone photograph.

This is one of the two Grey Wagtails that have taken up residence in Notting Hill Gate Underground station. The station is open to the air, but it's a long way from their preferred waterside habitat.
The large plaster eagle in Orme Square just north of Kensington Gardens puzzles local historians.

It was put there in the early 19th century by the property developer Edward Orme, and there are also reliefs of eagles over two doorways here. There are eagles on the Orme coat of arms, but the ones here don't match their pose. It was put up not long after the victory at Waterloo, but it doesn't look like the eagle from a captured French military standard either. Maybe Orme was just keen on eagles and not too fussy about details.

An arum lily near the Diana fountain had two flower beetles on its spadix. Apparently there are 4000 species of flower beetle, and I have no idea which it is.

Mark reports from St James's Park that the young Great Tits are now coming to his hand.

They're ahead of the ones here, which are still expecting to be fed by their parents.

He also found a Cinnabar Moth. There are seldom seen in central London parks, though I did find one in Kensington Gardens several years ago.

Sunday, 23 June 2019

The Coots nesting on the Mute Swans' island in the Long Water have hatched another brood of chicks, and are now looking after both these and their two older offspring.
The Coot chicks at the Dell restaurant were in a compact heap on the nest, allowing a close-up view.
The Coot in the ill-sited nest at the bridge now has only one egg left, and probably it won't hatch now. The Coot contemplated it sadly. Perhaps gulls took the other two -- a Herring Gull can easily pick up a Coot's egg in its beak.

A pair of Moorhens on the edge of the Serpentine ate each other's fleas.

One of the Great Crested Grebes nesting in the fallen poplar at the far side of the Vista turned over the eggs.

Ahmet Amerikali was at Southwark Park checking on the Little Grebes' nest. They have just hatched a third chick and there are no more eggs left in the nest.

The pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull crouched low in his hunting posture as he tried to creep up on a pigeon. The pigeon looked over its shoulder and flew away hastily.

Two more fine pictures by Ahmet: a Grey Heron in flight ...

... and a female Blackcap.

The young Starlings from the shelter on Buck Hill are now fledged, and chasing their parents around.
The Reed Warblers in the reed bed to the east of the Lido have certainly bred, as a lot of activity could be indistinctly seen.

A young Magpie in the Rose Garden tried to beg, but its parent thought it was old enough to feed itself and pushed it away.
A teenage Magpie was looking very smart in its new feathers on a tree near the bridge.

The Little Owl near the Albert Memorial was in the usual oak tree, but hard to see among the leaves.

A picture by Mario of one of the Grey Wagtails on the Underground track at Notting Hill Station.

It's remarkable how far away they are from the nearest water, which I think is the Round Pond 500 yards away.

Saturday, 22 June 2019

A young Grey Heron insisted on standing in front of the Great Crested Grebe's nest on the Serpentine island, and the two stared at each other with hostility for at least five minutes. This is the last minute, at the end of which the grebe won the faceoff and the heron left.
The four young Coots at the Dell restaurant growing up, and are out and about every day.
There is a new family of Egyptian Geese on the Serpentine, with eight goslings.

The Mute Swans on the Serpentine parked their cygnet carefully on the most crowded part of the shore to attrract the maximum attention and food.

A Jackdaw on an old chestnut tree beside the leaf yard was also hoping for a snack.

The Little Owl near the Albert Memorial shaded her eyes from the sun with her craggy eyebrows.

The usual Wood Pigeon at Bluebird Boats was in its favourite place on a pedalo.

A Blackcap ticked irritably at something beside the Long Water.

A large carp in one of the Italian Garden fountains flapped its fins to fan water through its gills.

A Red Admiral butterfly perched on a nettle.

Borage is coming up in the wildflower patch behind the Lido, and Honeybees are attracted to its peculiar upside-down flowers.

The 2019 Serpentine pavilion by Junya Ishigami is now open. The interior is interesting if you don't mind having 61 tonnes of slate over your head in a structure without diagonal bracing.

Three fine pictures taken by Tom yesterday at Rainham Marshes. A Wren on a reed -- the same one as I flimed yesterday.

Sunset on the longest day of the year.

A Barn Owl comes out to hunt. This picture was taken in near darkness with an ISO of 5000, giving it the appearance of a late 19th century Autochrome colour photograph.

A good visit to Rainham Marshes with plenty to see, though the light was poor at times. There were plenty of young birds, with a good selection of ducklings, among them Pochard ...

... Gadwall ...

... and Tufted.

The Canada Geese have bred here, which for some reason they haven't managed in the Central London parks.

There was a distant view of a Little Grebe with a chick.

The Lapwings had half-grown young ...

... and an Avocet attacked a Coot that had got too close to its teenage chicks.
There were several Redshanks.

A Common Tern and a Black-Headed Gull squabbled about a place on a post. The tern won.

A Little Egret was fishing, shaking a foot to bring up water creatures from the mud.
A Reed Warbler carried insects to feed its young.

A Reed Bunting perched on a reed ...

... and so did a Wren ...
... and a Whitethroat.

A Linnet perched in a bush.

A House Sparrow picked up a Peacock butterfly caterpillar, chewed it for a bit and discarded it. Evidently the caterpillar tasted nasty.
A Water Vole looked out from the bank.

Insects included a Cinnabar Moth ...

... a Four-Spotted Chaser dragonfly ...

... and a Seven-Spot Ladybird, the first British ladybird I've seen this year as all the ladybirds in the park are invasive Harlequins.