Saturday, 16 July 2016

The Great Crested Grebes nesting on the fallen poplar tree in the Long Water have three chicks. They are too far away for a good picture, but can be seen distantly from the bridge.

There is also a new brood of eight Mallard ducklings, whose mother was taking them across the middle of the Serpentine as if Herring Gulls didn't exist.

The single Mallard duckling on the Long Water has survived another day.

Blondie the Egyptian Goose had let her three young ones wander all over the Serpentine. This is one of them, with the last traces of its juvenile fluff almost gone. Perhaps they are reasonably safe alone once they have reached this size.

The Black Swan had been amusing himself by pulling reeds out of the reed bed near the Diana fountain, but then thought of a better game and went off to annoy the aggressive Mute Swan by circling him at a distance. It looks as if the aggressive swan is the father of the lone cygnet, which may explain his behaviour.

Several people have said that the mother of this cygnet has been looking ill recently, which may explain why she neglected it. However, she seems to have recovered, at least to some extent.

The Reed Warblers near the bridge were busy dashing between the reed bed and neighbouring trees fetching insects for their young.

But the young Grey Heron that I photographed yesterday eyeing them has been eaten by the family of foxes in the nearby scrub. Here are its sad remains.

A third young Robin appeared in the Dell, a little older than the first two and growing its red breast.

The Little owlets near the Albert Memorial were calling, which made them easier to find. Here is one of them.

And here is their father.

This is the male Little Owl in the sweet chestnut tree.

I couldn't find the rest of the family, but think they are inside the leaf yard.

On the edge of the Serpentine a pair of Black-Tailed Skimmer dragonflies were mating, a complicated business.

A patch of ragwort at the foot of Buck Hill had attracted some butterflies. This is a Small White.


  1. I saw the lone cygnet preening next to its mother yesterday. She looked OK (to my very unskilled eye). Another swan, which I took to be its father, cleared away a large gaggle of Greylags which had suddenly surrounded the pair.

    Thank you for alerting us to the Common Tern. I spent 30 mins watching yesterday, the closest I've been to a hunting tern. A really graceful bird.

    Sad news about the young heron.

    1. If you stand in a place in the NE corner of the Round Pond, where it seems there are a lot of fish, the tern sometimes whizzes past inches from you.

  2. What an undignified end for a heron. I half expected the skeleton to remain standing to attention.

    1. I suppose it had seen a rat and flown down to get it. It was a young and naive bird and knew nothing of foxes.

  3. I spotted the new ducklings this morning with their mother - six of them. The mother was a bit apprehensive but I managed to get a photo. I also saw the black swan (my second sighting only) with a white swan and a cygnet. They were all preening outside the Lido restaurant, which made for a nice shot.
    What a shame about the heron. I didn't know for sure there were foxes but suspected there might be.

    1. I'm told that there are still some ducklings, but didn't see them today (Tuesday). Incidentally, it's best to comment on the latest page of the blog. If you comment on an old one, hardly anyone will see what you've written.