Saturday, 20 August 2016

A young Grey Heron was prowling around in the Dell close to the Moorhens' nest, which was empty. Things didn't look good.

But the Moorhens were all right, a short way down the stream. There are four chicks, though they wouldn't all get into one picture.

The Tufted duckling was on the island with its mother.

The Black Swan and the cygnet were in the Lido swimming area.

Many of the Mute Swan have moved from their former hangout near the bridge to this place, leaving the Lido staff with a good deal of sweeping to do every morning before it can be used by bathers.

The female swan from the Long Water and her cygnets were waiting under the bridge ...

... while her mate cruised up the Serpentine, clearing a bunch of swans out of the way.

However, the dominant male swan of this area was on the north side of the lake looking very aggressive. There was no actual confrontation while I was there, but if the Long Water swans try to occupy the west end of the Serpentine there is going to be a serious showdown.

The Great Crested Grebe family from the island were out in the middle of the lake.

One of the grebes on the Long Water caught a small fish, but didn't bring it to the chicks. She tossed it neatly to turn it round the right way and ate it herself.

The flock of Mistle Thrushes were feeding on the patch of wood chips near the Physical Energy statue, also a popular place for Blackbirds, but I only saw them when they were flying away. Later I caught up with them at the top of Buck Hill, where some were looking for worms under the sweet chestnut trees ...

... and others were eating rowan berries.

One of the Little owlets near the Albert Memorial was in an oak tree.

They are now quite grown-up and beginning to get adult white spots on their heads. It will only be a few days before their parents drive them out to find their own territories.


  1. Hello Ralph. Did you know the current Ham and High has a cover story about a swan fighting with a dog? And a lot of local news stories elsewhere come up under simple searches. Maybe you could interest a site such as the Mail in printing an opinion piece by you on the subject, as you have profile from this blog and for your remarks on the killer seagull being quoted very widely. Jim n.L.

    1. Thanks for that. I see that an appeal is being made to 'dog walkers'. But they are not the problem. They understand dogs and want a quiet time, so they keep them under control. The dog walkers in Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park are a pretty decent bunch. It's the stupid, indulgent dog owners who are the problem.

      Meanwhile, I need to get some more photographs. Shouldn't be all that difficult.

  2. I think such a campaign would be a success with the press. Your pictures are always on point and very arresting, and to be true to the cliche, they are worth a thousand words. Those who can be moved would, I guess.

    1. Well, I am on full alert, and will try to get pictures and video where I can. My immediate aim would be to add leaving a dog off the lead near the lake to the list of infractions for which the park police can levy a £60 spot fine.