Friday 2 August 2013

Two more broods of Moorhens have appeared on the Serpentine. I had wondered why I saw so few when I was doing my monthly count a few days ago; evidently they were busy. There are three half-grown chicks at the Serpentine island, which must have been hidden in the bushes for several weeks. And there are six brand-new chicks under the boat hire platform. This family ventured out briefly and were promptly attacked by a Lesser Black-Backed Gull, but a fierce squawking leap by their mother saved the day, and they all scuttled back under the platform.

All the chicks of the two broods on the Italian Garden pond are still alive. You can see some of them behind this adult nimbly climbing out of the wire netting enclosure to fetch the young ones some food.

The older ones are able to fend for themselves.

The four Mallard ducklings on the same pond are still in good shape, and there is yet another brood of five Mallard ducklings a few weeks old on the Long Water -- they were on the grass on the west side of the bridge. This is not the brood of five half-grown Mallards I saw on the other side of the bridge yesterday, as these swam past when I was looking at the younger chicks.

The seemingly endless start-stop story of the Great Crested Grebes' nests continues. The one on the Long Water that I photographed two days ago has fallen apart -- it had seemed to be in an unsuitable and exposed place -- and the same pair are now building another nest a few yards away, conventionally in the shelter of a willow tree. It is a soggy mess, but that is what grebes' nests are like.

The blonde Egyptian Goose was preening herself on the edge of the Serpentine, and stretched out an elegant pale wing for my inspection.

I have still not seen her flying. She should be an interesting sight in the air, not at all like the strongly contrasted brown, white and black look of a normal coloured Egyptian Goose.

Here is a bumble bee on a sea holly flower -- the flower is Eryngium bourgatii, I think, but I wouldn't dare to guess the species of the bee.


  1. Beautiful bee! A great improvement on our efforts last year around the wild flower meadow.

    1. Very laid-back bees. This picture was taken from three inches away.