Monday, 24 July 2017

A pair of Great Crested Grebes were building a nest in a new place on the side of the island facing the shore, a conveniently visible place. The nest doesn't look at all secure, but grebes' nests are always a vague mess ...

... and it stood up to having both of them on it when they were mating. There must be a submerged root under here holding the nest up.

The three young Moorhens from the nest in the Italian Garden pond have been strangely invisible, even by the standards of these surreptitious birds. They always seem to be lurking in a safe clump of plants. But today they were out on the water, already quite well grown.

One of their parents stood in a clump of purple loosestrife.

This plant was deliberately put in the planters in the Italian Garden, and has now spread all over the park. In the United States it's classed as an invasive species, and it's easy to see why.

More Red-Crested Pochards have flown in, probably from Regent's Park, and there are now 16 of them on the Long Water, in addition to 12 Common Pochards which have arrived from somewhere unknown, too early to be winter migrants.

This blond Mallard seen at the Vista is not the usual female, which has a dark bill. Judging by its yellow bill it's a drake in eclipse, probably the one that has a dark rusty brown head when in breeding plumage.

The Black Swan is now spending his time near the bridge, having given up the unequal struggle with the big dominant Mute Swan at the east end of the Serpentine. So far the dominant swan at the west end of the lake seems to be leaving him in peace, and when people come to feed the birds he can go to the shore unmolested.

A Cormorant spreading its wings to dry kept flapping them, perhaps to keep its balance in the brisk wind.

The young Grey Heron at the Dell restaurant was prowling up the edge of the terrace hoping to find some food left by diners.

It has not yet developed the invasive tactics of the previous heron, which used to jump on to people's tables and snatch the food off their plates. I don't know what happened to this bird, but suspect it was kidnapped and taken away to a distant place.

A Grey Wagtail worked its way along the edge at the Lido restaurant. This is a favourite spot for wagtails, probably because spilt food attracts insects.

A young Magpie tried to drink from the lake at the Vista, but the kerb was too high for it to reach the water.

Two Rose-Ringed Parakeets were fighting for ownership of a feeder's hand.

One of them had to lose.

We haven't seen the male Little Owl for some time, but today he was on the usual chestnut tree near the leaf yard.

A Carrion Crow perched on a griffin on a building in the Bayswater Road just north of the park.


  1. Is that a common practice, removing birds that are deemed to harass or disturb tourists? They did the same with poor misunderstood Mr Asbo and its wife.

    Whenever we visit the north we have a field day watching the yellow-legged gulls swoop and snatch food from unwary people eating al fresco. We even saw one particularly shameless individual stealing all the contents of a picnic bag.

    1. I think it's fairly common, but done surreptitiously.

      Thieving gulls are great fun, unless it's your ice cream they snatch from its cone.