Wednesday, 21 June 2017

A pair of Little Grebes could be heard calling on the Long Water, but they remained hidden in the bushes. Eventually they came into sight a long way off.

They must be new arrivals, since their call is loud and distinctive and we'd have heard it they'd been here earlier.

Looking for them unexpectedly revealed a pair of Great Crested Grebes with three chicks, again far off on the far side of the lake. They clustered round their father ...

... until one of them sped off because it had seen its mother coming with a small fish.

This is not the pair of grebes nesting in the fallen poplar. They were there too, with one on the nest.

The Mute Swan family glided down the Long Water.

But behind them there was another surprise: another swan was making a nest in a reed bed.

The male of the first family was away chasing some intruding swans back under the bridge, and hadn't yet noticed the invasion of his territory. But there will have been trouble when he did.

A Mallard on the Long Water had five new ducklings. She was wisely keeping them next to the spiked railings at one end of the Peter Pan foreshore, so that gulls couldn't swoop on them.

But there were ten Lesser Black-Backed Gulls on the posts, and she will have a job keeping her brood alive.

A Tufted Duck stood proudly in the middle of a group of Greylag Geese on the Serpentine.

He is still in his breeding plumage, though all the other drakes are losing their smart white sides and going into eclipse.

The pale Greylag snatched a piece of bread from the beak of another goose and made off at high speed to avoid retaliation.

The young Great Crested Grebe on the Serpentine was taking time off from fishing and having a preen.

One of the Coot chicks from the nest on a post at the island was being fed.

The pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull was on the prowl and almost caught another victim, but he relaxed at the wrong moment and the pigeon flew free.

One of the young Grey Wagtails was on the edge of the lake at the Lido restaurant.

The white-faced Blackbird was on the fence every time I went past, expecting a treat of sultanas. Of course she always gets some.

It's almost time to buy another 500 gram packet of sultanas.

A Jay swooped down to the leaf yard fence to take a peanut. They have practised this manoeuvre and got it down to a fraction of a second.

The female Little Owl was a few yards away in her usual chestnut tree.


  1. The Blackbird looks so hopeful. Almost like a kid on Christmas night, waiting for presents to be opened (too anthropomorphic, I know, but it looks so much like that).

    That jay has a wonderful career ahead of him as an aerial pirate, I think. So clever, deft, and maneouvrable.

    1. Must see if I can get someone to video a Jay grabbing a peanut from my hand as it flies by. A spectacular bit of precision flying.