Tuesday, 18 July 2017

The Great Crested Grebe family on the Serpentine are quite used to passing boats of all kinds. They can dive out of the way of an oar blade in an instant.

The parents are finding plenty of fish for the chicks.

The two Mallard ducklings on the Serpentine seem to bear a charmed life. They had the good sense to stay close to their mother as Herring Gulls circled overhead and Carrion Crows stood menacingly on the shore.

One of them dived and came up with a leaf stuck to its back.

The hopeless Egyptian Geese on the Long Water, who have never managed to raise a single gosling in twelve years, were making a fuss of each other at Peter Pan, and it looks as if they are about to produce another doomed brood, their third this year.

A Greylag Goose on the Serpentine had a vigorous wash and a flap to settle its wing feathers.

When a Mute Swan washes,  it's a very big splash and a tremendous flap.

The dominant Mute Swan at the east end of the Serpentine chased the Black Swan away, but the Black Swan woudn't take no for an answer. He collected himself, raised his ruffles in defiance, and came straight back.

The swan family on the Long Water passed a row of Cormorants on a fallen poplar tree. This year's young fish are  now beginning to be large enough to interest Cormorants, and they are flying in from the river.

A pair of Coots on the Serpentine were eating each other's parasites. This is not only practical, but a bonding ritual.

After yesterday's picture of a crow with a knife, you will be relieved to see that Coot chicks are only allowed plastic ones.

A crow stole a crisp from a goose and ran off with it.

The female Little Owl on the chestnut tree was just visible between the leaves.

The warm weather has brought algae up in the Italian Garden ponds, despite the best efforts of the gardeners to haul it out. A Red-Eyed damselfly found it a convenient place to perch.


  1. I didn't know that black swans busked as well as white swans do. Is that also a threat display? He is looking mighty fine with all those raised ruffles.

    It astounds me to see how close boats get to the grebe family. Our grebes bolt as soon as they see you pointing binoculars at them.

    I wouldn't trust a Coot with a knife, even a plastic one!

    1. Yes, it is a threat display, or really more of a long-distance warning posture. He also does the unique Black Swan threat display with lowered head, as shown in a recent photograph.

      Our grebes live on a lake full of small boats and surrounded by people staring at them. They are quite calm about this, though the recent occupants of the nest on the island are nervous about people looking at their nest, which the previous occupants didn't mind.

  2. BTW, forgot to ask: has there been any news about the notorious Asbaby? I recall that he was but a juvenile back in 2015 when he became world-famous. I suppose he calmed down and in his adult age he is just another grumpy but nondescript swan.