Tuesday, 30 July 2013

The four Mandarin ducklings were again on the west side of the Vista. As well as their characteristic double eye stripe, their feet distinguish them from other ducklings. They already have the sharp, slightly hooked claws of a species that does not just use its feet to paddle, but can climb around in trees.

Their mother was looking after them well. When a Coot came too close, it was briskly chased away.

The Mute Swan who is the mother of the single cygnet on the Long Water was equally ready to attack a Grey Heron.

The cygnet is too large to be bothered by a heron, but nobody likes these ravenous birds, and swans, grebes, coots and crows, and even peaceful geese, all go for them at the least excuse.

There is still a great mob of Coots on the Long Water. Perhaps the sheer number of geese of various kinds, well over 350, on the Serpentine at the moment is crowding them out.

I hadn't seen any Grey Wagtails for some time and was wondering where they are, but today a pair turned up near the outflow of the Serpentine and flew briskly around the Dell restaurant, hunting insects on the roof as well as along the shore.

This adult female is not the female of the pair who nested under the bridge in the Dell, as the latter is missing some toes, and this bird has intact feet. Grey Wagtails are very mobile birds and, once they have finished nesting, you would not expect to see them in the same place twice. However, I have not seen any young Grey Wagtails this year -- unlike the much commoner Pied Wagtails, which have bred quite well and can often be seen in large numbers on the Parade Ground.

A single Zebra Finch has been seen several times in the Flower Walk, clearly an escape from captivity.

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