Sunday, 8 June 2014

There is a new brood of four Moorhen chicks on one of the ponds in the Italian Garden. Here they are waving their little featherless wings in excitement as their mother brings them a gloopy morsel.

The Moorhen chicks right at the other end of the lake, in the new reed rafts, are also in good order, and there are also four of them. I hadn't seen them for some time and thought they might have been taken by gulls, but the reeds give good cover and so far they have survived.

On a nest in the Long Water a young Coot was staring at its own reflection like Narcissus, and probably from a Coot's point of view equally beautiful.

When the stringy water plant (whose name still eludes me) started growing on the lake, the birds ignored it and went for algae instead. Now they have realised that it is quite palatable. Here are two young Coots shovelling it in ....

... and two young Egyptian Geese.

These were being thrown bread by visitors, but preferred the weed. It is much better for them. Eating bread is probably responsible for the 'angel wing' deformity that sometimes affects Egyptian Geese -- and in other places, other birds too. Bread is mostly empty calories, and eating it instead of more nutritious natural foods causes a mineral deficiency that stunts the growth of their wings.

There is a report of a female Bullfinch in the shrubbery on the east side of the Long Water, towards the north end. I haven't seen her myself.

The male Little Owl had come out to enjoy the sunshine.

A Blackbird was singing in front of the Albert Memorial.

The gaudy mosaic in the background shows the Spirit of Architecture holding a drawing of (guess what?) the Albert Memorial. Nikolaus Pevsner described it as 'the worst building in the world'. I love it.

In the Flower Walk, bees were visiting the purple wallflowers.

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