Wednesday, 19 July 2017

The Black Swan continued the struggle with the dominant Mute Swan. He went on to the raft and started moving twigs as if starting a nest. But as soon as he saw the Mute Swan coming he got off and allowed himself to be chased up the lake, and the Mute Swan occupied the water in front of the raft.

These five young Greylag Geese are almost full grown, but can be told from the adult on the right by their pattern being made up of rounded individual feathers rather than formed into bars.

The Greylag with a white forehead and blue eyes cruised down the Serpentine.

The youngest Egyptian gosling has taken to lying in the middle of the path on the south shore, risking being trodden on as it is well camouflaged against the gravel. But as soon as a dog approached and its mother called it, it sprang up and trotted into the water.

The fallen tree nest to Peter Pan attracts a wide variety of birds. Today it had a Tufted Duck preening, and the Mallard with her two ducklings.

The Mallard ducklings on the Serpentine are still doing well, and now growing fast.

A Coot started to build a nest in a particularly silly place, the busiest corner of the boat hire platform.

The lake is loud with the begging calls of young Great Crested Grebes. These are the three from the Serpentine island.

One of the brood of three on the Long Water raced to collect a fish from its mother.

The single chick on the fallen poplar was also being fed.

The teenage grebe isn't easy to see, but two days ago I saw it fishing behind the baskets surrounding the island.

The Long-Tailed Tits haven't been much in evidence recently, so it was good to see a flock coming out of the Dell.

A Wood Pigeon hung upside down to eat elderberries in the leaf yard.

The Little Owl was in her usual tree, in a more visible place than usual.

There has been a definite sighting of a pair of Tawny Owls near Kensington Palace. Last night just before dusk they were calling from, and were seen in, a large oak tree just outside the southeast corner of the Sunken Garden. If you stand facing the palace at the statue of Queen Victoria and look to your right, it will be the nearest tree you see. I don't think they will be nesting in this tree, as it is quite young and doesn't seem to have any holes in it.


  1. Dear me, Coots are hopeless. They are the honey badgers of the bird world.

    Will the Black Swan build a nest without a mate? Or is it nest first, mate afterwards?

    It's sad that he doesn't seem to recognize his old friends.

    1. It is quite extraordinary how unable Coots are to learn from experience. Not what one expects from a bird.

      The Black Swan seems to perform this nesting behaviour instinctively and pointlessly. A bit like a Coot, in fact, but he is certainly brighter than them.

  2. Is it safe before dusk in Kensington gardens?