Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Both the Tufted Duck families were at the east end of the Lido. They were keeping a wary distance from each other, and it was hard to get them both into the same picture, let alone catch all the ducklings on the surface. This is the best shot I could get, with the six ducklings of the newer family in the foreground and four of the five of the older family beyond them.

This is the family with six.

Here is a fine picture by Virginia of one of the five surfacing.

A Mallard near the bridge had seven ducklings. This is quite a good place, because the family can go under the bridge to get away from gulls, and survival rates have been better here than on the open lake.

A Greylag Goose with a white front has blue eyes. This eye colour seems to accompany white patches in Greylags.

There is a dominant male Mute Swan at each end of the Serpentine, as well as another who has the whole of the Long Water as his territory. This is the one at the east end of the Serpentine, in a foul mood as usual.

The swan family on the Long Water came up to the parapet of the Italian Garden because someone was throwing bread. So did a Grey Heron and, in the background, a family of Coots ...

... which until then had been on a fallen branch of the dead willow tree.

The Great Crested Grebe family with three chicks were taking it easy under the bridge.

A grebe at the Dell restaurant looked under the water for a fish, and eventually saw and caught one.

The pigeon-killing Lesser Black-Backed Gull found that there were too many people on the shore where he was eating his latest victim, so he picked it up and flew away to devour it on the lake.

The fallen poplar tree in the Long Water was well stocked with Black-Headed Gulls.

A female Blackbird heard some smll birds give the high-pitched 'seep' call that means 'predator overhead', and looked up nervously.

The male Little Owl at the leaf yard was in his usual chestnut tree, but refused to pose for his photograph.

Underneath, a White-Tailed Bumblebee attended to a patch of ragwort.

It is the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Royal Air Force, and there was an impressive flypast of 100 aircraft. Here is the historic group: a Lancaster bomber, three Spifires, and two Hurricanes.

The Hurricane at top left which is not in RAF markings is a Canadian-built one which has been painted in the colours of one of the Polish squadrons which took part in the Battle of Britain. It's a fitting tribute. There was a very large Polish contribution to the fighter force, and we would have lost without them.

The flypast finished with a pass by the Red Arrows, trailing patriotic smoke.


  1. I love the pictures of the historical aircrafts. I know that Brits love Spitfires best of all, but I have a soft spot in my heart for the Lancasters. I love the sound of their engines.

    Swan fights are serious business indeed. It is a wonder that they come to no serious harm.

    1. Well, you can imagine the sound of nine Merlin engines all going at once. I was in two minds whether to take still pictures or video, but decided I'd rather have the fine details of stills.

  2. The modern planes were impressive too; and great formation flying (like the lot spelling out '100').
    I think domestic white geese usually have blue eyes.
    Was the pigeon-killer annoyed by negative commentary of the bystanders?

    1. One of the other Greylags with blue eyes is oversized, and shows signs of domestic goose ancestry. Of course, domestic geese are Greylags anyway, other than the special breeds.

      When people see the pigeon-killer at work (and most people don't notice him at all) they often approach to watch him, and he hates that.