Tuesday, 19 September 2017

The Black Swan got too close to the dominant male Mute Swan on the Long Water, and was attacked. He left at once and went on to the Serpentine, where things are a bit more peaceful.

There he had a comforting preening session. When he saw me he came over to be fed.

Blondie the Egyptian Goose was also preening. She is the only Egyptian in the park with these pale grey wings and tail. All the others, including the ones with white heads, have dark brown feathers.

A young Great Crested Grebe was fishing near the island. This picture shows it about to dive, with its feathers clenched down to make it less buoyant, so that its shoulders are under water.

A Grey Heron on a holly tree looked up in annoyance as a noisy police helicopter passed overhead.

A Robin was singing in several places in the Rose Garden. There was another Robin singing nearby, so he felt the need to establish his territory.

Two Little Owls were visible today. This is the female of the pair near the Albert Memorial, looking out of her usual hole in the oak tree.

And here is the female near the leaf yard, on her old favourite branch on the west corner of the chestnut, photographed from under the tree.

A Magpie was eating berries in one of the rowan trees on Buck Hill.

Blackbirds have a different feeding technique from Mistle Thrushes. They go inside the tree and reach out to take the berries. Mistle Thrushes perch on top of the bunches and reach down.

This Mistle Thrush was taking time off eating, and having a preen. It was in exactly the same place as the one I photographed doing the same yesterday, and is quite likely the same bird.

When I was looking over the top of the Dell into the little pool, there was a movement under a purple flower. It was a small rat dragging a mini sausage roll into a secluded spot where it could eat it in peace.

A Greenbottle fly perched on a purple leaf in a herbaceous border in the Dell.


  1. I wish the Black Swan wouldn't challenge the dominant male. It's never going to end well.

  2. I think it was a fight with the dominant male Mute Swan on the Long Water that led to the Black Swan going away for several months. He doesn't really challenge the dominant male. Just being there is enough to set the furious bird off.

  3. I think the Heron would very much like to have a go at that helicopter. Sometimes I think that if they grew as big as their ancestors they'd have a go at us as well.

    I concur that the dominant Mute Swan is too aggressive. I hadn't thought that it would be able to cause physical harm to our Black Swan, but from his vocalizations in the clip he sounds in pain to me.

    Lovely clip of the singing Robin today! Thank you so much for that.

  4. The Black Swan is surprisingly vocal if you are used to Mute Swans. I think that is a cry of outrage rather than actual pain.