Thursday 31 May 2012

The bushes are full of young songbirds being fed by their parents: Great Tits, Blue Tits, Robins, and a family of Wrens near the bridge. It is very hard to photograph them as they stay mostly inside the foliage. But here is one young Great Tit waiting to be fed.

The Grey Wagtails have two youngsters, who were sitting on on of the wire plant baskets around the Serpentine Island while one parent brought them food.

The eight young Egyptian Geese are well and growing fast, as are all the four broods of Mute Swans. But, ineviatbly, the Mandarin on the Long Water has already lost one of her ducklings. The lake is a very hard place for ducklings, and the vague way in which their mothers look after them doesn't help.

There were about 30 House Martins over the Serpentine, with half a dozen Swifts and two Swallows. All these birds seem to favour the lake on cloudy days; presumably sunshine causes more insects to appear in other places.

There were at least a hundred Greylag and Canada Geese on the lake, and numbers will climb further as more come in to take refuge during the summer moult of their flight feathers. Incomers included this blond Greylag. It is the third blond goose I have seen in the past two years, and the palest of the three.


  1. Is the blond Greylag a pure breed and / or an albino? The eyes look pretty pink in your photo. So ad about the duckling but, as you say, inevitable in this environment.

  2. The blond Greylag has normal brown eyes, surrounded by the normal orange eye ring. The other two blond Greylags, which may be its siblings though I saw all three separately, are darker, with a hint of normal Greylag feather patterns. So they are not albinos. A liaison with a white farmyard goose (genetically a Greylag) seems impracticable. I asked Roy Sanderson about these birds, and he said that no one could be sure.