Saturday, 22 July 2017

The Great Crested Grebe on the nest in the fallen poplar on the Long Water looked fondly at her single chick.

Her mate brought it a fish.

The other grebe family on the Long Water had divided childcare between parents, as happens when the chicks reach a certain size. Two of the chicks were following one parent in the middle of the lake ...

... and the third one was over the far side, revealing the position of their well hidden nest. It's on the east side of the Long Water, about level with the tern raft.

A Coot brought a crisp packet to a nest foolishly situated on the platform of Bluebird Boats ...

... and laid it down. The nest seems to be largely made of plastic.

A pair of Coots, probably the same pair, nested here earlier. Mateusz made a little ramp so that when the chicks fell into the lake they could get up again. But the chicks were all eaten by gulls in this exposed position.

There is another idiotically sited Coot nest at the top of the weir where the water flows out of the lake. Any chicks soon get swept over the edge and can't get up agin, although there is a sloping plank to help them. Moorhens, on the other hand, can climb up the weir, and even chicks can do this. There have been successful Moorhen nests in the pool below the weir, and it looks as if there is another one now. To save itself a harder climb round the edge, the Moorhen came up the plank and over the Coots' nest.

The Coots didn't like this at all, and hurried to intervene, accompanied by a chick from a previous brood. But by the time they arrived, the Moorhen was gone.

This young Moorhen made the mistake of stepping into the Long Water too close to a belligerent Coot, and was chased away.

A Magpie got uncomfortably close to a Grey Heron, which gave it a hostile stare.

The Black Swan saw someone feeding the Mute Swans, and made a beeline for them.

There were heavy showers. Cowering under the bridge, I took this picture of a Mallard unworried by the rain.

A Wood Pigeon had a bath in the little pool at the top of the Dell waterfall.

A flock of Long-Tailed Tits passed through a hawthorn tree near the bridge.

The female Little Owl at the leaf yard was on her favourite branch.

The pair called to each other, but I still couldn't find the male. He was hidden in a horse chestnut tree just the other side of the path.


  1. Herons really have got the scathing glare down to a fine art. They greet me by the Thames with utter contempt. I've got used to it by now.

  2. That is a most apt comparison!