Tuesday, 13 June 2017

A Moorhen nesting in one of the planters in the Italian Garden has hatched some chicks. It's hard to see into the nest, but it looks as if there are three.

This Coot's nest on the edge of the Serpentine looks like one of those things that Coots scrape together in an idle moment and then abandon. But, in spite of its exposed position, it has been here for several weeks, and is now tastefully decorated with leaves and moulted swan feathers.

The only thing this Coot lacks is a mate -- I've never seen more than one Coot here. Perhaps the bird just wanted to join the property-owning classes.

Another Coot on a nest near Peter Pan was alarmed by a terrapin ambling along its branch, and immediately after I took this picture it jumped into the water.

It needn't have worried, as the branch in front of the terrapin is too narrow for it to walk on.

The Great Crested Grebes nesting on the fallen poplar tree on the Long Water have got off their nest, a sign that they have finished incubating. I couldn't see how many chicks there were, because the grebe had gone into the shelter of the branches. Its mate was fighting with the neighbour.

These fights look violent, but I have never known a grebe to be hurt in one. The idea is to grab your opponent, tip him over, and hold his head under water so that he is obliged to submit. The loser is then released and swims away to a safe distance.

On the bank above the nest, beside the Henry Moore sculpture, Grey Herons were squabbling over a few bits of food that had been thrown to them.

The solitary rabbit was running over the grass.

It's an awkward gait, because its hind legs are so much longer than the front ones. It makes you feel that if evolution had gone on a bit longer, the creature would have become bipedal, like a kangaroo.

On the edge of the Round Pond, a Starling was feeding its young with larvae it was finding in the algae.

A Pied Wagtail extracted an insect from the alage and flew away with it to feed a chick.

Beside the Long Water, a young Blackcap -- at the top in the picture below -- was chasing its mother all over the tree calling for food.

Under the tree, the white-faced Blackbird came out for her daily treat of sultanas. She knocked some off the railings and went down to collect them, accidentally leaving one on the path. Her mate noticed this, and flew down to eat it himself. He wouldn't stay for another sultana, and flew off. But I think he will start coming to be fed soon.

The female Little Owl flew up to the top of her chestnut tree.

This is a clearer picture of a male Black-Tailed Skimmer dragonfly than I managed earlier.

A strange creature looked over the roof of the Serpentine Gallery.

I think it's a creation of Grayson Perry, who is having an exhibition there.


  1. RE a starling feeding its young? Which species would that be?

    1. Sturnus vulgaris. They were unknown in the Americas until a 19th century idiot decided to introduce all the species mentioned in Shakespeare. All died quickly except the Starling, which became a widespread nuisance and is hated by farmers.