Friday, 22 July 2016

Now, instead of the Black Swan following the Mute cygnet around, it is the cygnet which is trustingly following what it must now consider a step-parent.

I haven't seen the Black Swan's girlfriend with him for several days. Perhaps she disapproves of this arrangement.

Despite all odds, the solitary Mallard duckling is still at Peter Pan with its mother. It was swimming around innocently within easy reach of a Grey Heron.

The Moorhens which nested in the drain next to the bridge, behind the reeds where the Reed Warblers are, seem to have had two broods. They were on the other side of the bridge with two young ones, one of which ...

... was considerably larger and more mature than the other.

When a Grey Heron was killed by a fox a few days ago, I thought it was the young one which had been hanging around the Long Water. But no, this bird has been on the ornamental rock near the Italian Garden for the past few days.

On the other side of the Italian Garden, one of the young Wrens came out of the thicket and perched on a twig.

The young Magpie at the northwest corner of the bridge, a strangely confident bird, stood at my feet and lazily stretched out a wing.

The pair of Coal Tits near the bridge on the other side of the lake, which used to be quite shy, now regularly come down to my hand every time I pass.

The young Grey Wagtail was back in the half-empty pool at the top of the Dell, looking for insects in the soggy mess. It perched on an exposed drainpipe.

The male Little Owl in the chestnut tree wasn't visible during the morning, but later he came out during a sunny interval and preened himself.

There was only the briefest sight of one of the Reed Warblers dashing into the reeds near the bridge. But there was a Brown Hawker dragonfly. It obstinately stayed behind a leaf, so I couldn't get a complete view.

But there was a good view of a Buff-Tailed Bumblebee on a borage flower at the back of the Lido

An odd find: the algae in the Italian Gardens ponds are being cleaned out, and Paul was helping the gardeners  with this heavy task. He found a catfish a few inches long. This is, of course, not a native species. The ponds are fed from a borehole and nothing can get in by water. Probably the native fish -- carp and perch in these ponds -- came in as eggs stuck to birds' feet. But how did the catfish get in? Dumped by an irresponsible aquarium owner? We hope there aren't any in the main lake. They can grow to 8 feet long.


  1. I was lucky to see two juvenile cormorants on a nearby lake yesterday Ralph. They had lovely chestnut plumage & looked most attractive. *** The photo of the black swan being followed by his step-cygnet is utterly charming!

    1. Cormorants are breeding inland now. Wonder where these came from.

  2. I have seen a cormorant on the Serpentine a couple of times this week, most recently near the Dell Restaurant.

    1. Think we've got two at the moment, one on each lake. This number will go up as the young fish grow to an interesting size, and then fall as the Cormorants destroy the fish stocks. In these small lakes they really make a difference to the population.