Sunday, 3 September 2017

There is a system of air hoses in the Serpentine which discharge in the middle of the lake. Apparently the idea is to oxygenate the water and restrain the growth of algae, though it probably makes things worse by stirring up silt. The hoses were badly laid and one of them has sprung a leak near the edge. This attracted some Coots, which were diving in the accidental jacuzzi, finding food brought up by the bubbles.

Another Coot, at the outflow of the Serpentine, was carrying an egg it had found somewhere. It broke it while picking it up.

Two young Great Crested Grebes on the Serpentine were preening and shaking down their wing feathers.

Another one fled across the water, chased off by a parent which no longer wanted to feed it.

A Tufted Duck turned upside down to preen its belly.

The Black Swan stepped neatly out of the lake.

The bigger and clumsier Mute Swans have difficulty getting up the slippery edge and over the kerb.

There are at least a dozen Cormorants on the lake now. This one was fishing near the Lido, and came up with a perch entangled in weed which it had to detach before swallowing the fish.

A Grey Heron in the Dell took a break from looking for fish and played with a stick.

A Herring Gull swallowed a large piece of bread thrown by a visitor.

The park authorities are trying to stop people from feeding bread to birds, and the new bird identification notice on the Long Water already has a prohibition. Other notices will no doubt follow. I don't think they will have the slightest effect on this long tradition. No doubt bread is bad for ducks, geese and swans, though they seem to survive. But gulls can and will eat almost anything (though I have seen them refuse strawberries).

Several Mistle Thrushes visited the rowan trees on Buck Hill.

One of the young Robins in the Rose Garden now has an almost complete set of adult red feathers.

There was a lucky view of a Little Owl in the horse chestnut tree near the leaf yard, which they seem to have moved to permanently. They are hard to find while the leaves are still on the tree. Paul has heard calls from both of the pair here.


  1. My, how has the Robin grown!

    I can't believe that a gull will refuse anything. What is it about strawberries that they don't find edible? They eat anything and everything else.

    Coots are admirable. If something goes wrong, there's a coot ready to make the most of it.

    1. I think gulls find strawberries too watery to be worth eating. I've also seen them reject bits of melon.