Monday 19 August 2013

A visit to the Round Pond found a family of two adult and two juvenile Pied Wagtails running around the edge of the water. Here is one of the young ones and the father, who is has an unusual amount of black on him.

However, he is not as dark as a highly melanistic one I saw on the Parade Ground last year, with all the parts that are normally white a shade of dark grey which made them hard to distinguish from the black areas.

There were 10 Mallard ducklings of various ages on the pond, in three broods of 5, 4 and 1. The high survival rate can be attributed to a total absence of big gulls on te pond -- though there were at least 200 Black-Headed Gulls, which present no threat to ducklings. No Common Gulls have arrived in the park yet, although a few have been seen in outer London.

The Hobbies were in exactly the same place as yesterday, and just as noisy -- I could hear them as soon as I got to the back of the Albert Memorial. Again, they were too far up a tall plane tree for a good picture, so this long shot will have to do.

I went past Peter Pan twice. The first time, the Grey Heron was on the Coots' nest, peering into the water for fish and scratching himself meditatively.

The second time, the Coots had regained possession, and the mother and chick were taking their ease until the heron came back.

The two Great Crested Grebe chicks at the Serpentine island were alone while both their parents went fishing to feed them. Although the nearest parent was working along the shore just in front of me, the young grebes stayed in the shelter of the overhanging trees on the island, a safe place for them but too far away and too dark for a good picture.

This beautiful metallic fly is a Greenbottle (Lucilia sericata). It was basking in the sunlight on the railings of the leaf yard.

These flies are useful to us, since their maggots can be used to clean out dead tissue from infected wounds. This alarming but effective therapy is still occasionally used, and may become usual again as modern antibiotics lose their power.


  1. I have filmed cormorants playing with a feather at Amwell Nature Reserve and have been wondering ever since how common it is!

    1. It's the first time I've ever seen it, and I've been looking at the park Cormorants for years.