Saturday, 19 June 2021

We definitely have another pigeon-killing gull, this time a Herring Gull. I've seen it hunting near the Triangle car park. Today it had just caught a Feral Pigeon and was starting to eat it.

I haven't seen our original pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull for several days, but shortly after I shot the previous video I saw a young Herring Gull eating the remains of a pigeon in the usual place near the Dell restaurant, so clearly he is still at work.

Two Wren fledglings and a parent hopped around under the bushes at the edge of the Rose Garden. (Unfortunately they were next to the public lavatory and the rural scene was interrupted by the noise of the hand dryer.)

A closer look at one of the fledglings, a bit damp from the grass.

A male Rose-Ringed Parakeet courted a female in a tree in the Rose Garden. She wasn't impressed.

A Blackcap ...

... and a Chiffchaff sang in trees beside the Long Water.

The Robin with the crooked toe is looking tatty from nesting and feeding young. It has started coming to my hand to collect pine nuts.

Ahmet Amerikali got pictures of a young Reed Warbler in the reeds near the Diana fountain ...

... and a parent bringing insects to feed it.

For several years a pair of Mute Swans have tried to nest behind the railings of the small boathouse. They have always failed till this year, but now they have managed two eggs and one of them has hatched. There is still a chance that the other one will.

Yesterday morning Julia Schmitt got a picture of the cygnet minutes after hatching and still wet.

And here it is today.

An unusual view of the two cygnets from the nest at the Lido restaurant terrace, taken by Mike Harris when he was swimming in the Serpentine at the club's early morning session.

It looks as if the Great Crested Grebes' nest in the fallen poplar at the Vista is hatching out. A parent brought a feather to give to a chick, which remained out of sight. Grebes of all ages eat feathers to wrap up fishbones and so prevent them from injuring their insides.

The eggs in the nest under the willow at the bridge have still to hatch. A parent was turning them over.

The two adults and their one chick were at the nest opposite Peter Pan.

A Gadwall drake preened on the dead willow near the Italian Garden.

Friday, 18 June 2021

A day of rain. This is the view from the loggia in the Italian Garden, where I was sheltering from a particularly heavy downpour along with fifty Scottish football fans.

A Song Thrush was clearly an England supporter.

The familiar Blue Tit arrived several times to be given pine nuts ...

... and a Great Tit brought a fledgling.

Carrion Crows perched on an urn ...

... and the weathervane at the Lido restaurant ...

... and one ate a crayfish that it had somehow caught.

A Reed Warbler came out of the reed bed at the Diana fountain before flying into the bushes to find insects for its young.

A Grey Heron and a Cormorant have discovered that there are plenty of small fish in the Italian Garden fountain pools.

A heron crossed the small waterfall in the Dell.

A Lesser Black-Backed Gull stared imperiously from a post at the bridge.

The single Coot chick at the boathouse has escaped the gulls and is now quite large.

Geese hastily took to the lake as a dog approached. They have to be extra careful as they are moulting and flightless.

A new Canada x Greylag hybrid was with them, with unusually pale pink feet.

A Mandarin drake, still looking quite smart, wandered along the edge of the Italian Garden.

Mallards enjoyed a puddle.

Thursday, 17 June 2021

A Wren beside the Long Water stared suspiciously from a twig.

A young Starling, still in plain juvenile brown, perched on the railings at the Lido restaurant.

The Starlings' former nests in the plane trees by the boathouses have been stolen by Rose-Ringed Parakeets, but a family of Great Tits have managed to hang on here because their hole is too small for the invaders. This is one of the fledglings.

A Herring Gull and a Lesser Black-Backed Gull enjoyed a bathe in the flowing water of the Diana memorial fountain.

A young Grey Heron from the second nest on the island balanced precariously on a twig and flew away. The two young birds can now fly as well as adults, though they are still spending some time in the nest.

The other young heron perched on the electric boat, looking as gormless as only young herons can.

The Great Crested Grebe chick on the Long Water stretched its wings. Grebes are hatched with quite strong wings, which they use as front legs for crawling on to a parent's back.

Moorhen chicks, on the other hand, arrive with tiny featherless wings that are no use at all for a long time.

A pair of Moorhens tried to nest on the platform at Bluebird Boats, and have been given a cardboard box as a safe place. The railings protect the nest from marauding foxes.

The female Mute Swan at the boathouse left her two eggs while she went off to feed, and the male guarded the nest. I'm not at all sure that these eggs are going to hatch.

Young Egyptian Geese on the Serpentine rushed around and dived, just for fun.

One of the Bar-Headed x Greylag hybrid geese from St James's Park has come to the Serpentine to moult in a safe place.

So have several Red-Crested Pochards. This one resting beside the Serpentine has a faded head but has not yet gone into eclipse. When it does, it will look just like a female except for its red eyes and bill.

A Mandarin drake on the Long Water is well into eclipse, and looking sadly tatty.

The Mallard near the bridge has managed to keep her one duckling.

There is a large herd of wooden elephants in Green Park, photographed here by Martin Sacks. They are being moved around various sites in London to publicise elephant conservation, and it must be quite a job shifting them. They are Indian elephants, while the herd formerly at Marble Arch were African.

Wednesday, 16 June 2021

It's the last day of the current hot spell, with thunderstorms forecast tonight followed by several wet days. The large Greylag family grazed in the shade of the willows beside the Serpentine. Rain will refresh the parched grass for them.

A pair of Lesser Black-Backed Gulls cooled off beside the running water of the Diana fountain.

One of the three Coot chicks at Peter Pan dived in the shallow water at the edge.

The solitary Moorhen chick in the Italian Garden seems to have been abandoned by its parents, which are probably the pair that have five new chicks in the Long Water below. But it's able to feed istelf and seems to be doing well.

Virginia took this picture of a Mandarin drake standing impressively tall.

A Grey Heron stepped delicately across the fallen horse chestnut tree in the Long Water, looking for a gap in the algae where it could watch for fish.

The pair of Blue Tits that pursue us along the path by the Long Water demanding pine nuts are parents.

A fledgling lurked in a tree.

A young Blackcap appeared on the other side of the water.

A Wren paused for a moment in a tree near the Albert Memorial.

The familiar Jay waited patiently while I photographed it, then flew down to take a peanut from my hand -- and for once missed it. We both pretended it hadn't happened, and I gave it an extra large peanut to soothe its ruffled feelings.

A Magpie found plenty to eat in a rubbish bin at the Lido restaurant.

There are odd patches of what look like red algae in the Italian Garden fountains which cast a lurid reflection on the young carp.

A Small Tortoiseshell butterfly perched on a nettle at the foot of Buck Hill.

It's difficult to give an impression of how many Buff-Tailed Bumblebees there are in the park at the moment, but there must have been at least 50 in this patch of Salvia about the size of a pingpong table.