Saturday, 9 June 2018

In June geese fly into the park from surrounding areas to moult their flight feathers in the safety of the Serpentine. This Greylag with white patches has been seen here several times before ...

... and so has this very pale one, which has only a hint of normal Greylag pattern.

Geese have to preen their new wing feathers to tear off the blue wrappings in which they emerge. It would be impossible for the feathers to come out without wrappings, because of the way the barbs point.

Yet another brood of Greylag goslings has appeared on the Serpentine. Both Greylags and Canadas have had a record year, with about 30 each.

An Egyptian Goose stood in front of her brood to protest them from a Grey Heron that was standing ominously close.

Just as I was certain that the herons in the lower nest had abandoned their second attempt at breeding, this one flew into the nest carrying a twig in its beak. Perhaps herons can't stop adding to their nests even when not nesting, in the same way as Coots.

The two teenage herons on the island were displaying at each other again. They must be siblings. They were certainly not hatched here, and have flown in from Regent's Park or Battersea Park, both of which have heronries that do better than ours.

As soon as a Mute Swan mother starts preening, the cygnets copy her. Preening seems to be be infectious, like yawning.

This cygnet was doing nothing but being fluffy. But it does that very well.

Four Mandarins, two male and two female, have taken to perching on a fallen branch at the corner of the Peter Pan waterfront.

The young Coots near the island are now diving to get their own food.

When there's food to be had, they don't hesitate. The arrival of a Canada Goose doesn't put them off in the slightest.

The Coots' nest at the Dell restaurant has become a popular attraction for visitors, and I had to wait my turn on the balcony to take this picture of a parent feeding the chicks.

The edge of the waterfall in the Dell is a favourite washing place for many kinds of birds. Today it was the turn of a Blackbird.

A Dunnock sang in a holly bush on the edge of the Long Water.

Meadow Brown butterflies are appearing in the long grass. They are the most numerous butterflies in the park, and have a long season.


  1. Obligatory comment about the Basque lady in the background remarking on how her son ought to enjoy watching the swans. Indeed he should.

    No wonder the Coot nest should become an attraction for visitors. It is a Coot masterpiece.

    To always look adorably fluffly is a job unto itself!

    1. You must be our only reader who understands Basque, a tongue unrelated to any other in the world and possibly descended from the language of the Cro-Magnons.

  2. Oh, I wish. She is speaking ordinary Spanish, only with a noticeable Basque accent. Many native Basques do not speak Euskara fluently or at all, and that is despite the many, many efforts made to promote the language.

  3. These days you often hear Welsh spoken by young people on buses or in streets in Cardiff; whereas a couple of decades ago it was rare to the point of looking like extinction.

    Hywl fawr,