Tuesday, 20 June 2017

The young Great Crested Grebe is now diving in a thoroughly adult way.

Its constant activity must be due to its not being much good at fishing yet. It's a skill that has to be learnt.

Adults have plenty of time to relax. This one had come right into the edge of the Serpentine and was resting on the shore, an unusual sight for these completely aquatic birds.

A family of four small cygnets had been left alone by the bridge while their mother charged off for a pointless attack on another swan that had offended her in some way.

Perhaps the high casualties among cygnets this year are due to overcrowding of adults on the lake, and the resulting aggression leading to neglect of the young.

The eldest of the Canada goslings are now beginning to show the black and white facial pattern of adults.

Most of the adults are now quite well on with regrowing their flight feathers, as you can see when this goose finishes its wash with a flap.

The white Mallard drake is probably more comfortable in the hot sunshine than the darker normal birds, but he was still panting in the heat.

The pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull's mate hasn't been seen for some time, but she was back today by herself.

The carcase of a Feral Pigeon, which was being finished off by a Carrion Crow a short was along the shore, showed that she was not being neglected. Probably her mate was away looking for his next victim.

There were two Reed Warblers in the reed bed by the bridge.

They now breed in this small reed bed every year. They don't need a large area of reeds, as they are perfectly good at catching insects elsewhere, and are often seen flying in and out of the surrounding trees.

One of the young Grey Wagtails was hunting among the moulted feathers on the shore near the Lido restaurant.

A young Long-Tailed Tit, from a rather late brood, was with its family in some bushes near Queen's Gate.

One of the local family of Mistle Thrushes gave me a severe stare.

The female Little Owl near the leaf yard was looking irritably at a Magpie that had landed in her tree.

There are lots of Meadow Brown butterflies in the long grass on Buck Hill.


  1. Nice little article about thermoregulation - Since birds have no sweat glands, heat must be lost through the respiratory tract by panting, or in nonpasserines by the rapid vibration of the upper throat and thin floor of the mouth ("gular flutter").

    It's best not to ask what vultures do to cool off!

    1. Thanks for the link to an interesting article.

  2. hi again ralph. i marvel at your consistently good pictures of the reed warblers !!. i cannot play your videos on my device (old samsung galaxy).. and thanks to cathy for the interesting and educational lecture on thermoregulation...

    1. Sorry you aren't able to view the videos. I shouldn't think your smartphone is too old to allow you to install Chrome, or perhaps better Cliqz which has a built-in ad blocker. Both free from the Google Play Store, no account needed. There should be a Play Store app among the apps already on the device.

  3. hi ralph.thanks for the advice.will try it.i have seen some videos on libary computers ( with google chrome). the red moth i.d. worked put too !!. i have some little owls " whistling" near me now...