Tuesday, 14 June 2016

The shrubberies are full of the sound of young Great Tits ...

... and Blue Tits calling for food.

Their parents made short work of the jar of pine nuts and sunflower hearts I had brought for them.

The three Greylag Goose families were close together on the edge of the Serpentine. There are still 16 goslings, though only some of the seven in the background are visible in this picture.

Blondie the Egyptian Goose was preening her beautiful plumage and taking no notice of her three young, which were several yards away.

But the Great Crested Grebe chick from the nest on the island was safe with one of its parents.

The pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull was busily stalking among his future meals. He didn't catch anything at the Lido restaurant, and flew over to the other side of the lake to resume the hunt.

The Black Swan was in the middle of a large group of Mute Swans, which were moulting fast and looking rather sorry for themselves. He was preening his fine new ruffles.

The ruffled feathers are actually on his wings -- technically they are the great coverts. I suppose they must lie flat when he flies, or they would cause tremendous drag.

A very heavy shower flattened the Mute Swans on the Serpentine.

It was a bit much even for these Mallards, which got out of the water and stood in a resigned attitude waiting for it to be over.

The Little Owl in the oak tree was sheltering in his hole.

But the owlets on the chestnut tree stayed out in the rain, and got quite wet.

There are reports of a pair of Little Owls in Hyde Park, seen in the trees north of Bluebird Boats. This is where the first Little Owls in the park were seen in the winter of 2011, but soon afterwards the action switched to Kensington Gardens and no more Little Owls were seen in Hyde Park. This pair may have been there all the time, or they may have spread out as the owls multiply and it may be a coincidence that the new sighting was in the same place.

These little reddish-brown mushrooms were growing near the back of the Queen's Temple.

I've tried to identify them, without success.


  1. What a picture Ralph of the flattened Mute Swans. I would never have imagined that could happen to such strong looking birds but I expect it is an adaptation to protect them from injury? I hope YOU Ralph did not get too wet when you took this picture?

    1. I've never seen swans do this before. It was only for a few minutes while the downpour was at its strongest. I was safely under the bridge when I took this picture and the one of the two Mallards.

    2. It's an incredible shot - they look like feathered pancakes!

  2. Yes, the photo of those flattened (yet still superbly dignified) swans is certainly very special.