Thursday, 11 July 2019

A quick walk round the park before setting off to Richmond Park. There are three new Mallard ducklings at Peter Pan.


The existing ducklings were on the fallen branch where they were yesterday.

The Great Crested Grebes on the Long Water have only two chicks now, but they are growing well.


Another pair have occupied the much invaded nest under the willow near the bridge, which was orginally built by Coots but has been occupied by Moorhens, Mallards and Mute Swans.


A Grey Heron sunbathed on the awning of the small electric boat.


A Stock Dove stood in the fastest flow of the small waterfall in the Dell, nearly being swept away but clearly enjoying the sensation of water rushing over its feet.


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


I had hoped to see one of the Little Owls at Richmond, but they weren't in any of their usual places. Tom had got a picture of an owlet earlier, which I hope to put on the blog tomorrow. However, several Kestrels were hovering around in search of grasshoppers in the long grass, of which there was an amazing number.


Common Terns were also hovering over Pen Ponds.


The star turn of the visit was a Green Woodpecker feeding a chick in a very visible hole in a dead tree. This was interesting enough to be worth two video clips, one close up ...


... and the other a longer view from the side.


The parent always landed on the top or side of the tree and climbed cautiously around to the hole so that it could be hanging on securely when lunged at by the ravenous chick.


Two female Mandarins saw off a Wood Pigeon that had come down to drink on their bit of shore.


A herd of Red Deer sat in the shadows under the trees. Most of them were stags, so that there was a forest of antlers.


The herd leader's antlers are enormous.


The view from Richmond Hill up the Thames is remarkably rural considering that the London suburbs straggle on for miles  beyond.

13 comments:

  1. Excellent woodpecker footage! Don't think I've ever seen a chick, never mind one being fed before. Esp. in the first video, the shutter sounds seemed to synchronise with the little beak's movements. Speaking of rural, I've recently seen cattle grazing on Petersham Meadows, even right be the road fence, eating from a tree. In touching distance.

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    1. With three people apart from myself watching, the shutter sounds were the main feature f the soundtrack in that video, and I had to turn the volume right down.

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  2. Female Mandarins are surprisingly assertive birds

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    1. Yes. I've seen them taking on Coots and winning.

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  3. Hi Ralph,

    are the baby herons still alive? The nest seems very quiet, the heron with broken beak hasnt been seen for a week now despite me trying to look after him.

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    1. I haven't seen anything of them either, and am beginning to fear the worst.

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  4. Surely that's a Stock Dove on the waterfall? And always a pleasure to tune in. Jim

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    1. Yes, you're right. I should have looked at its eye. Didn't expect to see one out of a tree.

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  5. What great videos of the Green Woodpecker adult and chick! It was the closest thing to being there.

    I wonder why that nest is so much in dispute. It does not seem to be so favourably located. Who knows what, and how, birds think.

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    1. It's a very odd nest site. The tree is dead and the trunk is sawn off barely 3 metres above ground level, and it's right next to a road with a car park and snack bar. Possibly split human food attracts insects. The two restaurants in Hyde Park are also good places for insectivorous birds, though not woodpeckers.

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  6. Wonderful blog, particularly the Kestrel photo. What is the best way to go to Richmond Park from Hyde Park by public transport?

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    1. District Line from South Kensington to Richmond. Then walk via Richmond Hill or take the 371 bus from stop D to the American University.

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