Monday, 5 June 2017

The Greylag Goose family with three goslings unwisely visited the raft where the Mute Swan was on her nest with two cygnets. There were attracted by the tasty plants.

The swans pinned them into a corner, but then lost interest and the goslings could have escaped, but unfortunately their mother was by now on the wrong side of the raft and they tried to get to her, and were blocked by the fence. The male swan attacked two of the goslings and nearly caught one, but it escaped. Attempts to lure the swans away by throwing bread into the water failed. When I left, the goslings were still stuck. Here are some scenes from the episode.

The other Greylag family was also here, but stayed well out of trouble.

To add insult to injury, the gander chased the gander of the trapped family up the lake.

A pair of Pochards are often seen around these rafts. Almost all the Pochards on the lake are winter visitors, but these ones are resident. They have never tried to breed, as far as I know.

The rafts are also a hunting ground for the Grey Wagtails nesting nearby in the Dell. There is now a young one, which was there with its mother.

But, as you can see from this video, it is now old enough to hunt for itself.

This is one of the young Moorhens from the latest nest on the raft. Their absurdly large feet don't hinder them from running very fast.

The young Great Crested Grebe on the island was very active, swimming all round the nest and diving under the basket to come up on the other side.

Here you can see it diving, and following its father in the open water. Thanks again to the kind staff of Bluebird Boats for taking me out to see the nest.

A Cormorant sprawled inelegantly on a post at Peter Pan.

A young Starling looked out of its nest hole in one of the plane trees near the boathouses.

The Ring-Necked Parakeets are still eating dandelion leaves, though these are now coarse, hairy and bitter.

If you make dandelion leaves into a salad, choose only very young ones in early spring. They are good with a plain vinaigrette dressing.

The male Little Owl was out on a branch on his usual tree near the leaf yard. There was no sign of others, but it was a cool and windy day and unlikely to tempt them out.


  1. The mix of still photos catching a behavior, action, or look with a little bit of other video embedded is really fun, enjoying it a lot. Despite the wind sounds, it is also fun to hear the park birds and ambient sounds in the videos. Great blog post as usual!

    1. Still experimenting with this. It's difficult knowing whether to go for stills or video when something is happening, and my instinct is always to try to get a good still rather than a scrappy bit of video. At least I'm getting practice in doing quick rough cuts and splices of the stuff I get -- not proper video editing by any means, but it can tell a story.

  2. The Great Crested Grebe chick makes such endearing sounds, and it's so lovable, swimming contentedly after its parent like a dutiful child.

    That was bad tempered even for a Swan. Was there true danger to the goslings, beyond all the shaking and thrashing?

    1. We'll have to see how the goslings are tomorrow. There was a complete impasse when I had to leave, but I'm sure the swan relaxed and went into a doze after a while.