Friday, 16 June 2017

There were two young Grey Wagtails at the Lido restaurant. Probably they are from the nest in the willow just the other side of the bridge.

They were not with their parents, and were looking for their own food.

The leftovers from the pigeon-killing Lesser-Black Gull help to support many birds. A Herring Gull was tearing at the remains of half of the latest kill.

The other half was on the other side of the lake, being pecked at by a Carrion Crow.

One of the Great Crested Grebes on the Long Water was turning the eggs in the nest.

If you zoom out from the nest, you can see two Grey Herons looking down on it. Probably this is how the first two chicks met their end.

One of the herons has evicted a Coot from its nest, and the bird is bustling around angrily.

There were two more herons on the gravel bank, and another four on the posts on the other side of the Vista -- eight in all.

The grebes' nest on the island is in a much safer place, hidden by bushes. There are at least three eggs in it.

Great Crested Grebes lay white eggs, but they soon get stained brown by the soggy weed lining the nest.

Coots build much stronger and better nests -- which is why the heron chose one as a platform in the picture above -- and their eggs stay dry and keep their original speckled cream colour. This is the Coot nesting on the basket by the bridge, standing up to have a preen.

The new Coot family below the Italian Garden were swimming around in the duckweed that has grown at the north end of the Long Water. Although Coots are omnivorous, they showed no sign of wanting to eat it. Mallards love duckweed and scoop up large amounts of it.

In one of the Italian Garden ponds, a pair of Coots have moved house from one clump of plants to another, for no visible reason. They were busy building their new nest with reed stems.

In the Dell, a young Magpie pestered its parent for a cherry.There are lots of cherries on the tree and it could perfectly well have picked one for itself, but it's still accustomed to being fed.

There are probably lots of Dunnocks in the park, but you seldom see one as they creep silently around in the undergrowth.

The male Little Owl near the leaf yard was quite hard to see among the branches.


  1. Young Magpies are so lovely with their large pretty blue eyes, anyone would forgive them their pestering ways.

    Those Herons' intent warching bodes very ill, unfortunately.

    I am so melted by the overwhelming heat that I can manage to say nothing rational, so I will content myself with squeeing over how pretty the young Grey Wagtails are.

    1. It's wonderful to have two families of Grey Wagtails. Only a couple of months ago I was worrying that we were about to lose our last one. The lake is not an ideal habitat for them -- not enough cover -- but at least there are plenty of insects for them to eat.

  2. I was at the Vista around 3.30/3.40, and was surprised to see a Little Grebe and well-grown chick in the lake in front of the gravel bank. They were diving together. The adult didn't seem to be feeding the chick.

    1. Thanks -- very interesting. In my time, Little Grebes have bred only once, and lost their chicks quickly to the big gulls. They are such surreptitious little birds that it's really hard to know what they are doing.