Thursday 29 August 2013

A Common Sandpiper visited the Long Water today. It is not at all common in the park. Nor are wading birds of any kind: they occasionally stray in from the London Wetland Centre or Rainham Marshes, but never stay for any time. Here it is standing on a small rock that you can see from the parapet of the Italian Garden.

There were two other surprises on the Long Water, both visible at a distance across the Vista, so I only managed to get some very dim little pictures of them. There were two Little Grebes, the first I have seen on the lake since the end of April.

They have not done very well in the park, probably because the Long Water is too open and doesn't offer them enough cover. They have been far more successful in Regent's Park, where there are a dozen and they have managed to breed.

And the Great Crested Grebes' nest here has hatched out. I could only see one chick with binoculars, but at this distance it's impossible to be sure, especially when the chicks are very small and hidden by their parent's wings.

On the Serpentine, the three chicks from the nest in the reed bed were easier to see.

This brightly coloured dragonfly was on a rock at the top of the waterfall in the Dell. I think it is a Common Darter, Sympetrum striolatum. Again, this species is not common in the park.

The Hobbies were audible again in the northwest corner of Kensington Gardens; I only caught a brief glimpse of them before they sloped off towards Notting Hill. But there was no sign of any Tawny or Little Owls in their usual places.

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