Friday 27 June 2014

There are two new Great Crested Grebes' nests on the Long Water: one on the east side of the Vista ...

... and the other opposite Peter Pan.

However, the nest in the willow tree has disappeared. I think this is because it was poorly made, largely of water weed without enough twigs, and when it rained in the night the nest simply dissolved. Grebes are careless nest builders, unlike the diligent Coots. The two new nests don't look any stronger. This is one of the few times one wishes there were more plastic bags in the lake, as the grebes use these as nesting material and they much improve the strength of the structure.

The pair who had lost their nest were consoling themselves by having a vigorous wash.

These pictures are all a bit distant, as they were taken from the other side of the lake.

There is another new nest at the far end of the Serpentine. A pair of Moorhens have nested under the weir at the lake outflow. Here one of them is bringing a bit of bread to the chicks, passing a chunk of wood, a beer bottle and a child's mug that have washed up against the weir.

Moorhens can nest successfully in this strange place because they are superb climbers, and so are their chicks, so they will not get stuck at the bottom of the weir. Coots have tried nesting on the edge, but when their chicks are washed over the weir they can't climb back.

Three young Magpies were loudly pestering a parent in the willow tree next to the bridge.

And here is another family, of Starlings at the feeder in the Dell -- which is intended for smaller birds, but they can reach in anyway. The young birds are still in their juvenile light brown plumage, but will be growing adult feathers soon.

One of the Tawny Owlets was visible in a chestnut tree near the southwest corner of the leaf yard, now quite adult in appearance.

And the Little Owl was out on his usual branch.

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