Wednesday, 11 July 2018

The two Tufted Duck families remain in open water, the ducklings protected from gulls only by their ability to dive quickly. The six ducklings of this family have survived another day, and so have the five of the other family.

A closer shot of the six with their mother.

The youngest Mallard family were at the landing stage next to the Diana memorial fountain -- a good place, since if a Herring Gull passes they can hide under the platform. There is plenty to eat in the floating debris.

The Bar-Headed Goose from St James's Park is still stuck here until its wing feathers have regrown. It's only occasionally seen amid the hundreds of geese that have come to the Serpentine to moult.

The Great Crested Grebe family with three chicks were in their usual place under the bridge ...

... and the family with two were in their favourite spot under the bushes on the Long Water.

The Coot nest under the willow next to the bridge has only one chick, but it's now quite large.

A young Moorhen was going through its dull brown teenage stage.

The male Little Owl at the leaf yard was, as usual, deep inside the upper of the two chestnut trees, but it was possible to get a glimpse of him from under the tree through a gap in the leaves.

The young Robins from the nest at the southwest corner of the leaf yard have also been hard to see, but today one was visible in the bushes. It's grown its first red feather.

While I was taking this photograph, a Jay strolled through the railings and waited under my feet to be given a peanut.

A very ordinary Feral Pigeon sunbathed on the bleached grass.

Even more ordinary, a Housefly fed on a patch of ragwort. But it is just as finely made ...

... as this large and elegant Emperor dragonfly whizzing around the Italian Garden.

There were several Common Carder bees. This one was on a broom flower.


  1. What a lovely bumblebee! We call it abejorro zapador. It shares its Spanish 'surname' zapador, which means digger, with the Sand Martin (avión zapador) because both dig little burrows for their young.

    That pigeon may be ordinary, but it is far from being unpretty!

    1. But I wonder why it's called a Carder Bee in English. Carding is straightening the fibres of wool with a comb before spinning it into thread.

    2. I don't know if it might be the case here, but I remember reading that whenever English surnames or place names resemble common words without meaning, it means that there is a phonetically similar Anglo-Saxon word lurking underneath, which was no longer understood and was thus changed to resemble the closest 'modern' common word. I remember for instance that according to Tolkien Sarehole was actually Anglo-Saxon in origin and meant "the place where service trees grow".

    3. And indeed the service tree, whose name ultimately comes from Latin sorbus but was rationalised to refer to the tree's usefulness.

    4. Couldn't think of anything else duck-billed as per below, but there's a current American pop star Cardi B. Jim.

  2. Seen in the first still, the similarity of a Tufted Duck head to that of a Platypus is striking. Jim

    1. There were also duck-billed dinosaurs, hadrosaurs, though they were not on the line from which birds are descended.