Friday, 24 May 2019

A male Reed Bunting sang his simple song in the reeds near the Diana fountain. A female was seen in this area on 3 May, and it's possible that they are nesting.

A young Great Tit begged for food from its parents by uttering a scratchy call, fluttering its wings and hopping around restlessly.

A young Grey Wagtail could be seen from a distance on the plank bridge at the bottom of the large Dell waterfall. The nest is under the bridge: Grey Wagtails like nesting under shelter near running water.

The female Little Owl near the Albert Memorial was dozing on a branch in her usual oak tree.

This year-old Lesser Black-Backed Gull can usually be seen near the Dell restaurant. This is the pigeon killer's territory, and any other large gull gets chased out at once. Probably this bird is their offpring from last year.

A Great Crested Grebe circled a Coot's nest near the bridge, expecting to find fish lurking around its outskirts. This Coot gets all kinds of unwelcome visitors -- but if it wanted privacy it should have made its nest somewhere else.

After a while the grebe caught one, but continued to hang around the nest.

Two Coot chicks stood on an ornamental rock in the Long Water. With the twin white markings on their front, at a glance they look like Moorhens facing the other way.

The Mute Swan with three cygnets preened near the Lido. When mother preens, the cygnets do too.

The single cygnet on the Long Water was in the nest with its parents.

The three Mallard ducklings were still at Peter Pan.

A pair of Greylags on the Serpentine have at least two brand new goslings. There may be more under the mother's wings.

The eldest Egyptian gosling on the Serpentine has now lost almost all its juvenile down and looks like a small adult. Its flight feathers are just beginning to come out. The new feathers need careful maintenance.

Two younger ones sprawled inelegantly on the edge. Their legs are too long for their body, and it's uncomfortable keeping them folded up for long.

Sadly, two other Egyptian goslings are showing the first sign of 'angel wing'. This deformity was much more common when the first Egyptians arrived here, but the affected birds, unable to fly, soon died without breeding. It now appears only occasionally.

A Small White butterfly perched on a daisy near the Queen's Temple.

This Blue-Tailed Damselfly was in the Dell.

The picture shows how a damselfly is able to fold its wings, which a dragonfly can't do. The double row of hinges for the wings, two per wing, is tilted backwards. In a dragonfly the row is horizontal. The useful modification comes at a price, as dragonflies are much stronger flyers.

Thursday, 23 May 2019

Paul shot this remarkable video of a young Great Spotted Woodpecker calling and being fed on the bank of the Thames upstream from Hammersmith Bridge.

A Jay washed in the Serpentine ...

... and flew up to a branch to dry itself.

A young Great Tit waited on a yew twig for its parents to bring food.

A young Long-Tailed Tit did the same in a hawthorn.

The Little Owl near the Albert Memorial was out on a branch.

A young Grey Heron posed in front of a patch of red flowers in the Dell.

The three Mallard ducklings at Peter Pan are still in good order, and noticeably larger.

The Mute Swans from the little island in the Long Water still have one cygnet.

There was a remarkable number of swans on the Long Water. Virginia counted 88 this morning. Two rival males circled each other menacingly as an Egyptian Goose looked on from a post.

The Coot family from the small boathouse relaxed on the shore on a warm sunny afternoon.

The Coot nest on the post near Peter Pan has three chicks in it, I think the first ever to hatch on this dangerously exposed site. Two Lesser Black-Backed Gulls and a Herring Gull were waiting on the posts for an opportunity to swoop. There is another even more threatened nest on a post beyond them.

The Coots at the bridge now have five eggs in their restored nest.

The carp in the Italian Garden fountains can't be more than seven years old, since the pools were drained during renovation work in 2012 and all fish now there arrived accidentally as eggs stuck to the feet of birds. In this time they have grown to a remarkable size and some of them are two feet long.

A Buff-Tailed Bumblebee drank nectar from a flower near the Lido. Both bumblebees and Honeybees show a distinct preference the purple flowers in the park.

There was an extremely long procession of horses as a Household Cavalry regiment returned from Buckingham Palace to the Hyde Park barracks.

Tom was at Thursley Common, the home of the famous Cuckoo called Colin by the regulars, and photographed him flying off a twig.

He also got a fine picture of a Dartford Warbler there.

Wednesday, 22 May 2019

The calls of the young Starlings flocking in a horse chestnut tree at the Lido can be heard from hundreds of yards away.

The parents are getting food for the young at the Lido restaurant. A slice of bread didn't last long. They were particularly enthusiastic because it was part of a sandwich, and had butter and a bit of filling on it.

But a Carrion Crow had already made off with the best part.

This crow beside the Serpentine was less lucky. It pecked the sponge to see if it was edible, and abandoned it.

A Jay waited in a red-leafed tree near the bridge before flying down to take a peanut from my hand.

A Wood Pigeon collected twigs for a nest.

A Pied Wagtail gathered insects for its young on the edge of the Serpentine.

A Blue Tit probed some blossom for insects.

A Long-Tailed Tit fed a young one in a bush near Peter Pan.

A Greenfinch perched at the top of a holly tree.

Ahmet Amerikali got a good picture of one of the Whitethroats.

The Little Owl at the Albert Memorial was not in a cooperative mood.

Another dramatic picture by Ahmet, of the Great Crested Grebe chick on the Long Water begging to be fed.

The Coot family at the boathouse still have five chicks.

The Coots nesting at the bridge lost all their eggs in an attack by some unknown creature, but are now busy producing more.

They have two so far.

The Mute Swans on the Long Water have lost another cygnet, and are down to one. I suspect that this is due to the half dozen Lesser Black-Backed Gulls that are now often here.

But the three cygnets on the Serpentine were in good shape.

There were several Blue-Tailed Damselflies in front of the reed bed near the bridge.

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

A Whitethroat sang on a tree in the Rose Garden. There seem to be more than usual of these birds at the moment -- they are not common in central London.

A Blackbird was in good voice in a tree nearby.

An adult Long-Tailed Tit and a young one perched side by side in a hawthorn tree.

At the bridge, an Adult Grey Wagtail was on one post ...

... and a young one on another, waiting to be fed. But the adult seemed to think it had had enough for the time being, so I didn't get an action shot.

Two young Grey Herons faced each other across the little stream in the Dell.

Then one of them went down to gaze longingly at carp far too large for it to eat.

A pair of Moorhens chased each other. One gave a wide berth to the heron -- they have been known to try to eat Moorhens -- and the other preened.

Both the Coots that were evicted from their nests by herons had bounced back. One of them celebrated by decorating the nest with a red plastic toy boomerang.

One of the Coot nests foolishly sited on the edge of the Serpentine has been abandoned, and a Greylag Goose was going through the twigs looking for insects.

A pair of Mute Swans nesting on the Serpentine island have three new cygnets.

The pair on the Long Water were back on their little island, and only one of the cygnets was visible.

The three Mallard ducklings on the Long Water are already able to catch flying midges.

There was a female Mandarin at the Vista, the first seen for a while. Evidently a nesting attempt has failed.

Mandarins fare poorly in the park, but there is a thriving colony not far away on the Regent's Canal.

I think this is a female Common Blue Damselfly. It was near the Serpentine Gallery.

But I have no idea what this is -- I don't even know if it's animal or vegetable. There were several of them in the moth-spun webs on the bush near the Triangle car park.

There are some particularly vivid purple irises in the Rose Garden.

Monday, 20 May 2019

A young Robin came out on a post beside the Long Water. A Reed Warbler sang in the reeds at the back.

Another Reed Warbler sang in the small reed bed in the Long Water next to the bridge.

A Song Thrush sang from a treetop next to the statue of Peter Pan.

The first young Starlings are out at the Lido restaurant, begging noisily for food.

At the Round Pond, a Starling carried insects for the young still in the nest.

A Grey Wagtail was also collecting insects near the Serpentine.

A pair of Dunnocks are nesting somewhere near the entrance of the Lido.

There was a sight of a Little Owl in the oak near the Albert Memorial.

Two Rose-Ringed Parakeets looked out of a hole in a plane tree near the small boathouses -- a hole they have stolen from the Starlings that used to nest there.

Two Coot nests have been taken over by Grey Herons to use as fishing platforms.The Coot has no choice in the matter.

There is yet another heron nest -- the seventh to be built this year -- on the Serpentine island. A pair displayed in it. The sound in the background is from Greylag Geese.

The solitary Greylag gosling sought shelter under its mother's wing.

The weeds on the edge of the shrubbery below the Triangle car park offer an interesting mixed salad to Greylags.

The Egyptian Geese on the Round Pond have miraculously kept ten goslings.

They were sitting in two groups at the edge.

The female Mute Swan on the Long Water was looking after her two cygnets near the Italian Garden.