Saturday, 30 July 2016

The teenage Great Crested Grebe on the Serpentine is doing very well on its own. It was fishing in the shallow water at the south edge of the lake, and caught several perch.

The Black Swan was beside the Diana fountain reed bed with his adopted cygnet, who was asleep. He seems to be returning to his obsessive nesting behaviour, and was picking up chunks of weed and throwing them aside.

Then he went under the bridge to the willow tree and started picking up sticks.

The lake was crowded with boats, and the geese were following them begging for food. The youngest Greylag goslings are irresistible, and got a lot of unsuitable snacks. They seem to survive this diet.

There are two of these dark Mallard drakes on the Long Water. The one that I photographed on 1 and 26 July has a larger white bib. Probably they are brothers. The white streak behind the eye is similar to that of the black and white Mallard drake I was photographing several years ago, and it is possible that he was their father, and the colour of this generation is reverting to normal.

One of the Moorhens in the Sunken Garden was enjoying a wash.

There were six Mistle Thrushes rooting around between the Serpentine Gallery and Physical Energy. It may be a single family, but they are quite gregarious birds and often feed together.

A Dunnock came out on the path near the bridge.

The young Carrion Crow on the Vista has still not found out how to shell peanuts. It gave me a baffled look.

So I shelled one for it, while it watched and perhaps learned.

The two Little owlets from the oak tree near the Albert Memorial were perched side by side on a branch.

The family were were mobbed by Blue Tits and flew off. One of the parents, I think the mother, landed in a nearby horse chestnut.

The male Little Owl of the family near the leaf yard was on the edge of his nest hole.


  1. Dear Ralph, I was delighted to see a Little Egret today perched in a tree by the village pond. S/he had long black legs and extraordinary big yellow feet. Do you know why the feet are that eye-catching yellow colour? They are very striking!

    1. Who can say? Maybe having different coloured legs and feet is disruptive camouflage, making it look less likely to a fish that a bird is standing there ready to grab it.

    2. Thank you. Seems as good an explanation as any!

    3. Little egrets have yellow legs to distinguish them from great egrets I think you'll find.

    4. And have you tried leading a zebra past a bar code reader?

    5. No, but I did try scanning a quagga with a QR code app once. You can lead a zebra to the bar code reader, but you can't make it beep.