Saturday, 4 July 2020

The Reed Warbler family at the east end of the Serpentine were rushing around. One of the young ones stayed still for just long enough to be photographed.

There was also a Cinnabar Moth here. I've seen one in this place several times without managing to get a picture, and once saw a Burnet Moth. There is a good mixture of plants for them in the scrub between the reed bed and the railings.

The Grey Wagtail in the Dell preened on a rock at the bottom of the Dell waterfall. Many midges were flying around, and you can see why the insect-eating bird likes this spot.

The Long-Tailed Tits have gone back into big flocks after the breeding season, and thse were flying along the edge of the Serpentine accompanied by several Blue Tits.

Most of the songbirds have fallen silent now, but a Chiffchaff beside the Long Water is still going.

A Carrion Crow waited for the pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull's mate to finish her meal, and then trotted in ...

... and set to with a will.

There was a Lesser Black-Back with dark eyes at the Lido. It's not yet fully adult, I think third-summer, but it has an adult red eye ring and you would expected its eyes to have turned yellow by now.

A handsomely marked Feral Pigeon trotted around near the Big Bird statue.

The Great Crested Grebe chicks near the bridge are now beginning to get off their parent's back and swim around freely.

The nesting Coot is still on the Bluebird Boats platform, and somehow the staff seem to be managing to steer their customers round it.

Sadly their kindness is in vain, because these nests on the platform never succeed. The chicks fall into the water and can't get back up, and even when Mateusz put in a little ramp for them they didn't understand what it was for.

The single cygnet on the Long Water was out by itself while its parents rested on the gravel bank. It amused itself by following a coot around.

The dominant male eyed it from a distance but didn't attack it. Mute Swans are usually all too ready to attack rivals' cygnets. There must be some kind of a truce between the two families.

One of the Bar-Headed x Greylag Goose hybrids has now regrown its flight feathers ...

... while the other one is still in mid-moult. This is odd, because they are siblings and you would expect them to moult at the same time.

Some of the Greylags have regrown their wings. I haven't seen any trying to fly yet, but the decision to fly is a committee affair with these gregarious birds and not enough of them are ready to go.

An Egyptian Goose had two goslings of different sizes, probably the result of a mistaken adoption. Egyptians are quite vague about which goslings belong to them.

Bees have strong preferences about the roses in the Rose Garden, and much prefer wild-type single flowers. Probably these have more nectar and pollen than the highly bred fancy roses.

I had never noticed before that the fence-eating tree in the Dell, which has engulfed several bars of the railings on either side, has a face.

Friday, 3 July 2020

The Reed Warbler family at the east end of the Serpentine were busy and noisy. The father gave me a suspicious stare from a small tree.

A young Magpie in the Rose Garden chased its parent begging for a share of the peanut I gave it. The indulgent parent gave the youngster both nuts out of the shell, so I threw it another which it ate itself.

The young Blackbirds at the back of the Lido were bouncing about in a cherry tree.

The Round Pond is in a very exposed place and despite its small size can get quite large waves on it. When these break over the edge they leave it covered with foam and, apparently, stranded small creatures such as insect larvae. A Starling collected these.

A seedy old Carrion Crow stared out of the Chinese Water Fir at the Serpentine outflow.

The pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull's mate was enjoying her share of one of his victims.

The Great Crested Grebes at the east end of the island absolutely must have chicks, from the way this one is sitting with wings raised. But despite watching for a while I couldn't get a glimpse of one.

The Coots in the Italian Garden are nesting for the third time this year.

Bluebird Boats reopens tomorrow, so today is the last day for this Coot nest on the platform. It clearly has eggs in it, as the Coot was turning them. Mateusz hopes to move nest, eggs and parents to a safe place on the island. There is another Coot nest at the other end of the platform that will also need moving.

A report from Duncan Campbell on the seven young Egyptians at Marble Arch. They now have fully developed wings and were exercising them.

But their mother is still regrowing her flight feathers after moulting, and it will be a fortnight before she is airworthy.

There are seven teenage Egyptians on the Round Pond, and these six on the Serpentine.

A sunny spell brought out three young Red-Eared Sliders on the fallen tree in the Long Water.

A head-to-head encounter with a Comma butterfly.

The Wollemi Pine in the Dell has produced a male cone as well as the female one I photographed earlier. On the right is another female cone, still developing and green.

Thursday, 2 July 2020

There is a pair of Sparrowhawks permanently in the park, which bred last year near the Old Police House. You often see sad little heaps of feathers where they have killed a pigeon, and there was one near the leaf yard yesterday. The birds themselves are not often seen -- I think they do their hunting in the early morning, and they range all over a huge park. However, I heard one calling near the Long Water and saw the female in a tree.

Just up the path the Starlings were massing in their usual holly tree, whose spiky leaves make it reasonably hawkproof. Brambles climb up the trees here, and the first blackberries are beginning to ripen.

There are two plum trees on the lake side of the Triangle car park, though you seldom see ripe plums because people come in early and pick them. A Blackbird was eating a very overripe plum on the path underneath.

Next to it there is a clump of campanulas. The flowers are visited by tiny particoloured wasps and I tried unsuccessfully to get a picture of these very active creatures. But I did get a shot of a Honeybee drone.

The young Grey Heron that now occupies the Dell often stands on the balustrade of the fake bridge in the middle of the dam. This isn't a place it can fish or catch rats from, and I sometimes wonder what is going through its head as it stands there. Possibly nothing.

There is a new Great Crested Grebe nest across the Long Water from Peter Pan, so there are three breeding pairs on the Long Water and at least two on the Serpentine at the moment.

The older two chicks on the Long Water are large enough to stay in the water full time, but still want to climb on to a parent's back. The parent wanted to preen and shook the chick off. They copied their parent and preened themselves.

The younger two were in their usual place by the bridge.

The nest at the east end of the island may be hatching. The sitting female had her wings raised, a sign that there may be chicks on her back, but I couldn't see anything definite.

There are certainly eggs in the nest at the other end of the island. A parent was turning them.

Two Egyptian goslings trotted briskly to the water, warned by their mother who had seen a dog approaching.

A pair with two small goslings came to the Vista.

It had been raining, and a drain was discharging water into the lake. The goslings were interested in the current, perhaps the first time they had seen moving water.

A Mallard had six ducklings at the bridge.

This is one of the few places on the lake where ducklings have a slim chance of survival, if their mother can keep them under the arches.

Wednesday, 1 July 2020

A dull day often makes it easier to find small birds. A Chiffchaff ...

... a Greenfinch ...

... a Blackcap ...

... and a Reed Warbler could all be seen around the Long Water.

A Wren in the Dell had collected some immature earwigs to feed its young.

Not seen for some time, the Grey Wagtail was back at the top of the Dell waterfall.

A Magpie drank at the other end of the pool.

In the Diana fountain enclosure, a young Carrion Crow's parent thought its offspring should stop begging and find its own food.

A Rose-Ringed Parakeet near the leaf yard ate the very last cherry on a Bird Cherry tree.

The Common Tern was back on the Serpentine.

The Great Crested Grebe chicks at the bridge were being fed.

The other two are now too large to ride together on a parent's back.

A Moorhen enjoyed climbing on the moored pedalos.

Three of the four Coot chicks at Peter Pan rested and preened in their well sheltered nest in a waterside bush, which has kept them safe from gulls while chicks from more exposed nests have been eaten.

Virginia shot this video of a female Egyptian Goose returning to her nest in a hollow tree beside the Round Pond. Nesting in trees gives Egyptians a great advantage. The big geese in the park, which nest on the ground, are hardly breeding at all as they are attacked by foxes.

A Small Skipper butterfly perched in the breeze in the wildflower patch in the Rose Garden.

The Wollemi Pine in the Dell has produced a cone, which a Housefly was exploring.