Sunday, 8 July 2018

This is the second Tufted Duck family on the Serpentine, first seen yesterday. As far as I could see, all seven ducklings were still all right. It's very hard to count them, as they spend as much time submerged as they do on the surface.

The first Tufted Duck family were also in good order and diving like mad. They seemed to be getting food just below the surface, perhaps Daphnia.

They weren't disturbed by a family of Greylag Geese passing close by.

Tom got a good water-level view of one of the ducklings.

The Egyptian Geese at the Vista still have four goslings, and these are now large enough to have a good chance of survival. It's the first time this pair has managed to raise young beyond a few days old, though they have been trying for several years.

But the hopeless pair who have never succeeded at all seem to have given up,  and if so it's a relief. They have spent several days under a tree on the east side of the Long Water, doing nothing. They are at least fifteen years old, a lot for an Egyptian Goose.

The Litte Grebes were calling from the same place on the west side of the Long Water. I could only get a distant view of one of them.

There is a new Great Crested Grebe nest on the island, behind one of the baskets at the west end of the side facing the shore. It's only a few feet from the place where a pair brought up chicks on a stolen Coot nest.

But I think the pair that did this are now nesting again at the east end of the island, which is where they first started nesting before they took over the Coots' nest. Since the floating baskets came adrift, you can now get a reasonable, if distant, view of the nest from the shore.

The younger family of grebes on the Long Water could be seen at a distance from the Vista.

But the older family were keeping their three chicks in the shade under the bridge and it was impossible to get a picture of them.

The young Blackbird in the Dell was again cooling off in the pool at the top of the waterfall.

A young Blackcap perched for a few seconds on a dead tree beside the Long Water.

The first blackberries are ripe, and Tom got a good shot of a Starling eating one.

The male Little Owl near the leaf yard was in the upper of the two chestnut trees, moving around restlessly.

The purple loosestrife in the Italian Garden ponds attracted a White-Tailed Bumblebee and a Honeybee.

Today in the shelter on Buck Hill it was time for a Latin dance lesson. Some were more proficient than others.


  1. It was heartening to see a couple of black-headed gulls in the background of the Vista shot. You've mentioned one returnee before but have they now returned en masse? I don't know why it's so heartening - Friends Reunited maybe?

    1. Yes, there were about 30 on the gravel bank, and numbers are going up every day. It's the usual return at this time of year, absolutely routine but probably I should photograph a group of them and confirm that they are returning.

  2. There were at least 20 black headed gulls on the Round Pond late afternoon... I have seen them there this past week, gradually increasing in numbers...

  3. Nothing intelligent to say, except that I love this blog's daily entries so much. We are well into the dreadful Spanish summer with no bird in sight. Year in and year out I always fend off withdrawal symptoms thanks to Ralph's blog. Thanks to the videos not only can I see the birds, I can also hear them.