Saturday, 23 July 2016

On a sunny Saturday during the school holidays the Serpentine was a heaving mass of pedalos. The Greylag families were taking advantage of this, going around begging.

But the Black Swan didn't like it, and had disappeared, probably on to the island.

The young Great Crested Grebe was in the chained-off area in front of the island, where boats can't go.

It has been seen several times on the Long Water, and must be moving around a lot in search of fish. It is only recently independent, and not catching fish as easily as the skilled adults.

The family on the Long Water were cruising around briskly. They are growing fast and there is only room for one chick at at time on its parent's back.

The grebes nesting in the reeds were disgusted to find that a pair of Coots have moved in next door. I was watching this with Ahmet Amerikali. 'Bang goes the neighbourhood,' he said.

Not far off there was a little group of Red Crested Pochard drakes, in eclipse but still looking quite gaudy with their red bills and eyes.

The Moorhens in the Italian Garden are down to two chicks. It is their third brood this year. They have not been lucky.

The Reed Warblers near the Bridge were constantly diving in and out of the reeds to feed their brood. The strain of parenthood is beginning to make them look careworn ...

... and one of them is particularly tatty. I suppose they're moulting.

Beside the Long Water two young Grey Herons were uneasily sharing a tree, about as close together as they could get without a fight.

I think that at least one of them has flown in from Regent's Park, and that only one young bird has survived from the nests on the island.

The pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull, forced off his usual station by the throng of people, was patrolling the edge of the Lido terrace, looking for a pigeon incautious enough to bathe there.

A young Blackbird near the Italian Garden had found a very early ripened blackberry in the brambles.

I couldn't find any Little Owls near the leaf yard or the Albert Memorial, but two owlets were calling from the lime trees near the Henry Moore sculpture. With some difficulty I managed to get a shot of one of them from directly underneath, the only angle it could be seen from.


  1. Hello Ralph,

    have you seen the cygnet this weekend? Is he alright?

    1. Haven't seen him, or the Black Swan, since Friday. But there are a lot of boats on the lake.

    2. Both the cygnet and the Black Swan were seen on Sunday by other people.