Friday, 26 July 2013

A pleasant day, but nothing unusual to see. There was a lot of cawing from an aerial dogfight over Kensington Gardens, and when that happens you hastily take pictures before looking to see which birds are involved, hoping that it will be a dispute between a Carrion Crow and a bird of prey. But it turned out to be an ordinary crow-on-crow dispute and the pictures were trivial.

In the Italian Garden two small Mallard ducklings had somehow managed to scrabble up the near vertical, 1 foot tall lip of the pond. Here their mother looks at them proudly while a third duckling is unable to make the climb.

The fourth one was dozing among the water lilies and took no part in the expedition.

The Great Crested Grebes' second nest on the Serpentine island can only be glimpsed momentarily as the baskets drift from side to side, and it is distant and overshadowed, so clear pictures are impossible. The sitting bird, on the right in the picture, had its wings raised as if eggs had hatched already and the chicks were on its back.

This was probably a misleading impression, as I had not seen a new nest there before Wednesday. However, while the young grebe from that nest was still being fed, for the last few weeks only one parent was visible at a time. It is possible that the young one was kicked out to fend for itself when the new clutch of eggs began to hatch. Or this may be a load of speculative nonsense. Will keep watching.

A small skein of Greylag Geese were flying up and down the Serpentine to test their new wing feathers.

Some of the geese here are still unable to fly. But this one has a full set of primaries with the tips crossed over its tail, and could have joined the flight if it had not been vainly trying to eat a crabapple which had fallen off its tree and rolled into the lake.


  1. Skein of Greylags picture is worthy of Peter Scott. Were / are you a fan? I still have some of his books, which belonged to my parents. They owed their lifelong love of wildfowl to him and his reserves.

    1. Thanks, but the geese make it easy to get a harmonious picture: they fly in synchrony in close formation. I missed Peter Scott when I was small, somehow, although my father was a keen birdwatcher.