Saturday, 22 June 2013

A brood of four Moorhen chicks has appeared in the Italian Garden from an unsuspected nest in one of the clumps of plants.

The wire netting around these clumps is convenient for Moorhens, because the chicks can be kept inside the enclosure out of harm's way while their parents feed them through the mesh.

Another pool in the Italian Garden holds a new Coots' nest. The previous one had been given up, for no discernible reason, and this one was probably built by a different pair. It is very hard to tell individual Coots apart.

The latest brood of four Egyptian Geese was being fed on the edge of the Serpentine when a Coot tried to sneak in and grab some of the food. It received a ferocious sideswipe which it only just managed to dodge.

There are now plenty of young Starlings. This one was foraging in the unappetising scum at the edge of the lake, and opened its beak oddly wide to seize some morsel.

The Common Terns are still occupying their posts near Peter Pan, and the male is still bringing fish to his mate. It is time they flew off to find one of the breeding sites on the subrban reservoirs.

The number of rabbits on the east side of the Vista has now reached at least 18 -- that is the largest number that anyone has managed to count in a single view. There are two litters of young ones. It may be too early to say, but they finally seem to be returning after the colony was nearly wiped out by myxomatosis a few years ago. With more rabbits there will be more foxes. Previously these were numerous enough to be noticeable on most days, and one pair raised several cubs somewhere on the west side of the Long Water between the Vista and the bridge.

A patch of scabious in the little enclosure at the southeast corner of the Serpentine has attracted plenty of bumblebees.

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