Tuesday, 12 June 2018

A young Pied Wagtail ran along the edge of the Serpentine, finding several small grubs.

A male Blackbird collected worms for his nestlings near the Henry Moore sculpture.

A short way off, two Song Thrushes retreated into the shrubbery at my approach. I got a hasty picture of this adult before it went in, but I think the other one was a young bird being fed.

The male Little Owl was back in view after two days' absence. He was in the chestnut tree on the uphill side of the nest tree.

Unusually, there was no one feeding the parakeets when I went past their usual feeding place at the leaf yard. They were all on the grass, eating dandelion leaves and ready to descend en masse on the first unwary human to approach with food.

There were three Grey Herons at the bridge, standing quite close together with none of the usual hostility. One of them was quite young -- younger than the teenagers at the island. This may be the pair from the upper nest on the island and their single offspring, which I hadn't managed to see before because the nest is hidden in the trees.

Here is a closer view of the young heron.

An adult preened on a post at Peter Pan. A heron's enormous wings need a lot of maintenance.

The pair of Great Crested Grebes at the east end of the Serpentine were very interested in the abandoned Coot nest under the parapet of the Dell restaurant. I'm unsure whether they were thinking of using it as a nest -- they have never succeeded in building them one here themselves -- or whether they just wanted to look for fish and invertebrates among the twigs.

One of them did catch a fish near the nest, surfacing with it some way off.

The chicks from the nest on the island are now quite large, though they will be dependent for a while yet. A Great Crested Grebe has to feed its young for three months, a long time by bird standards. No wonder the parents need such a close bond, constantly reinforced with affectionate displays.

The grebe in the nest in the fallen poplar on the Long Water stood up to rearrange its eggs.

The Coot nest under the balustrade of the Italian Garden remains a going concern, and one of the Coots was adding some reed stems to it.

The nest above the weir at the Serpentine outflow no longer has chicks, which have all fallen into the weir. The Coots have built the nest up to a towering height, and seem ready to try again. But it is all to no avail, as there is a vertical drop at the back of the nest and sooner or later every chick is going to tumble down it.

As a change from the usual pictures of Greylag and Canada goslings, here is a little heap of Egyptians. It is awkward calling them 'goslings', as their markings are those of ducklings, and an Egyptian is really halfway between a goose and a duck.


  1. Poor silly Coots. You'd think they'd have learned their lesson after the catastrophic loss of so many chicks in the exact same manner. Perhaps when God created them he told them "smart, determined, brave - pick two".

    On the other hand, the Grebe chick is looking very fine and all grown up.

    1. The grebe chicks are no diving after their parents, which is how they begin to learn to fish. But it will be a while till they can feed themselves, maybe the last week in July.