Tuesday, 21 June 2016

The second Grey Heron nest on the Serpentine island was very active, with both young birds flapping around. The one on the left has fully developed wings, but the other's flight feathers have not yet fully emerged from their wrappings, which can be seen at the base of each feather.

Four herons were chasing each other around on the grass between the Serpentine Gallery and the bridge.

The Black Swan has been unusually quiet over the past few days, lounging around with the Mute Swans near the bridge, although he has finished moulting and regrown his flight feathers while the other swans are still in the middle of the process. Perhaps months of aggression have secured him a place high up in the pecking order and he is content with that.

At the far end of the crowd of swans, below the Triangle car park, things were much less peaceful. There is a very aggressive swan that has been chasing the others around for several days. It had driven another swan on to the shore, and then came ashore itself and attacked it again.

The Greylag Geese still have all their nine goslings, and in fact there has only been one casualty amid all four families. This is in spite of the many irresponsible dog owners who break the law by allowing their pets to chase the wildfowl.

The mixed brood of the Canada Geese remains mysterious. You can see that the three small goslings in the middle have mid grey legs, while the one on the right has the black legs of a Canada. Are the small goslings Greylags or perhaps hybrids?

On the little island in the Long Water, a Coot was posing proudly beside its latest acquisition. This ball had been stuck in the reeds  on the far side of the island, and there is no way it could have drifted in by accident. The Coot must have dragged it out and pushed it over.

The young Moorhens at the east end of the Serpentine have turned brown. It is remarkable how they are hatched black, turn brown as teenagers, and then go almost completely black again as adults. The bird is beginning to get adult colours on its bill and legs.

The young Magpies are still chasing their parents around flapping and calling to be fed.

Someone had, rather oddly, dropped half a birthday cake on the grass at the Vista. Some Feral Pigeons were warily circling it at a distance, uncertain whether it was edible or not. In the end they wrongly decided that it wasn't, and flew away.

The Reed Warbler in the flowers and shrubs between the Lido restaurant and the Diana memorial was flying around and singing, but never stayed still for a quarter of a second and was impossible to photograph. But I did get a slightly longer glimpse of another one singing in the reeds.

The Little Owls were also being difficult. Only one was visible, in the chestnut tree just uphill from their nest tree. When it looked over its shoulder it was clear that this was the male adult.


  1. All right, that clinches it. I think the Coots are trolling us! That Coot is clearly waiting for our reaction to its latest acquisition.

    1. What I really want to see is how they move these things.

    2. I can see how such baubles might attract the attention of a mate but surely they're a liability once there are eggs/chicks to conceal?

      How has the spectacular nest construction in the water garden fared?

    3. I think you may be imputing too much logical thought to Coots.

      Which spectacular nest? The one improbably sited in the middle of the Long Water near the Italian Garden is still there, and the Coots who lost their chicks to gulls are nesting there again.

    4. The towering confection of leaves beneath the fountain?

    5. Sorry, now I'm even more confused. Can you point me to a particular day on the blog with a picture of the nest?

    6. Sorry, now I'm even more confused. Can you point me to a particular day on the blog with a picture of the nest?

    7. Moorhens in the sunken garden, 5 June.

    8. Was there yesterday. The nest has gone, fallen off its insecure perch. I couldn't see any Moorhens, but there is a lot of cover here and it's easy to miss them.