Thursday, 4 May 2017

The Coots nesting on the basket by the bridge have one chick.

When the father arrived with some food for it, the mother stood up to reveal five eggs still waiting to hatch.

The Coots trying to build a nest over a submerged fallen branch in the Long Water still haven't got far, although they have been trying for several days. The twigs keep drifting away.

But this also happened last year, and then suddenly the nest reached critical mass and sank a bit on to the branch, so that it was better anchored -- but still not well fixed, as the first nest last year disintegrated in a strong wind and had to be rebuilt.

The Great Crested Grebes at the island were off their nest and hidden in the overhanging undergrowth. It's usual for them to leave their nest quickly, since they can carry the chicks on their backs to a place where there are small fish for them.

A Mallard on the Long Water side of the bridge was sheltering her ducklings on a chilly morning.

Later she crossed on to the Serpentine and kept them near the landing stage by the Diana fountain, so that they could rush for cover if a Herring Gull or a Grey Heron came past.

Just down the shore, a Grey Heron was looking hungry, as herons always do.

The mother of the Egyptian Goose family at the Lido quacked angrily when a Mute Swan came too close.

There are at least two Starlings' nests under the eaves of the shelter at the foot of Buck Hill, and the chicks can be heard calling. A parent bringing a caterpillar paused for a moment on the knob on top of the roof.

A pair of Long-Tailed Tits hunted for insects in the top of a tree near the Triangle car park.

One of the Grey Wagtails was also looking for insects at the Lido.

At the east end of the Lido, a Dunnock came out on to the path. I've never seen one there before. It may be one of the pair from the Lido restaurant, displaced by the building work there.

A Robin stared inquisitively at the camera from a branch in the Rose Garden.

When I passed the Little Owls' nest tree near the leaf yard in the morning, a Magpie was peering into the hole. Naturally the owl was nowhere to be seen.

But he came out later.

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