Thursday, 25 May 2017

The Mute Swans nesting on the raft near the Serpentine outflow have hatched six cygnets overnight.

The swans on the other raft are still sitting on their eggs.

A swan on the Serpentine was enjoying a thorough wash.

A party of Canada Geese has just arrived on the lake, still keeping together in flight formation.

Both Canadas and Greylags come to the lake to moult their wing feathers during June.

The two Greylag families were apart today. The five goslings of the larger family were resting on the shore.

The Egyptian Geese who are incompetent parents were on the parapet of the Italian Garden. They have been going around closely together with frequent displays, and it looks as if they are going to nest yet again. In some years they have nested three times, always losing all their young in a couple of days.

Last year there was a pair of Mallards with a male Tufted Duck in constant attendance, it this seems to be them again. The Tufted Duck followed the female closely, while the Mallard drake wasn't paying much attention to her.

The Great Crested Grebes trying to make a nest on the raft have got a bit further. By sitting on the broken fence, they have managed to push it down to make attaching a nest easier.

The Coot nest in the middle of the Long Water, built in what seems an even more hopeless place, is now quite an imposing structure.

After yesterday's picture of the Coot pair eating each other's parasites, here is a picture of a pair of Moorhens doing the same.

There were families of Starlings at the Dell restaurant, waiting to snatch scraps from the tables. A young bird tasted a bit of black pudding and didn't like it.

Another was about to be introduced to chocolate cake, which Starlings like very much indeed.

A Robin sang on a twig beside the Long Water.

The Little Owl near the leaf yard was on his usual branch, today in a more visible place.

Just under his tree, a dog chased and killed a squirrel.

Only greyhounds and lurchers have the speed to catch a squirrel running for a tree. To give the dog's owner his due, he was appalled, but by then it was a bit late.

The lamb's ear flowers in the Rose Garden are a magnet for bees, both Honeybees and Buff-Tailed Bumblebees, the commonest species in the park.


  1. Lovely picture of the Bumblebee clinging to the flower. Such humble but wonderful creatures.

    Do birds like chocolate? Isn't it poisonous to non-humans? I once fed my canary bird a tiny sliver of milk chocolate (it was its birthday, and I was young an foolish) and it spat it out making a face of extreme displeasure. The poor bird didn't 'speak' to me for hours, I guess in resentment. It looked as it tasted bitter to the bird?

    1. Chocolate contains theobromine, similar to caffeine, which is supposed to be poisonous to most mammals -- not sure about birds. Anyway, I have several times seen Starlings eating chocolate cake with great gusto. There isn't all that much chocolate in cake, I suppose.

    2. I don't blame them for their dislike of black pudding though!