Tuesday, 10 June 2014

The Moorhens in the Italian Garden have five chicks. Here their mother dives to fetch them algae from the bottom of the pond. Diving is not Moorhens' greatest skill, and they have to jump into the air to come down with enough force to submerge.

More diving birds: a female Tufted duck swims under water past a Red Crested Pochard drake.

Although Red Crested Pochards are officially diving ducks, they don't seem to dive very much, preferring to dabble on the surface like Mallards.

One of the pair of Mistle Thrushes in the trees near the Serperntine Gallery chased two Jays out of its tree. It seems that they have not finished nesting, and I have not seen any young ones yet this year.

People at the Lido restaurant were throwing food to the birds. The young Grey Heron (the one that got stuck in the Flower Walk a few days ago) tried to take some and was chased away by a Greylag Goose. It turned straight round and chased the goose away.

The Little Owl was sunbathing in his usual place in the chestnut tree, with one eye shut against the glare.

Several people were looking for the Tawny Owl family without success. Clearly they have moved somewhere. We have been very luck in being able to see them so late in the year when the trees are in full leaf, but now it would not be surprising if we never found them again.

There were some dragonflies hunting insects over the Long Water in the weedy area next to the Italian Garden. I think they were Black-Tailed Skimmers, Orthetrum cancellatum. They are dreadfully hard to photograph in flight and this picture is the best I could manage.

There are two species of damselfly in the weed patch near the bridge. This one is a male Blue-Tailed Damselfly, Ischnura elegans.

The ones I photographed yesterday are Common Blue Damselflies, Enallagma cyathigerum. The principal difference between damselflies and dragonflies is that damselflies can fold their wings back when they land, while dragonflies' wings stick out sideways all the time.

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