Sunday 19 October 2014

There were 22 Red Crested Pochards on the east side of the Long Water, the most I have ever seen in the park.

Once classified as escapes from collections, they are now established as a British breeding species, and their numbers are increasing.

As the young Great Crested Grebes grow up and their parents fad into winter plumage, they are looking more like each other.

In this family group, the front bird is an adult female who has lost almost all the red-brown feathers from her neck -- there will still be a faint smudge here all winter until her ruff grows again. The one on the right is an adult male, still in breeding plumage. The one at the back is a juvenile, with a grown-up black crest but still with stripes on its face and neck. These will fade out over the next few months.

The Little Grebe is still on the Round Pond, fishing near the platform.

The Egyptian Geese still have their eight young.

For some weeks an adult and juvenile Moorhen have been sharing a perch on the netting around the reed bed at the east end of the Serpentine.

Farther up the shore, another Moorhen was exploring a bread bag to see if it contained any crumbs.

Although bread is not good for birds, at least this is wholemeal. Ideally, people feeding the ducks, geese and swans should bring some kind of grain or a purpose-made wildfowl food. But in fact the birds on the lake are so used to being given bread that they don't recognise this healthy stuff as edible, and ignore it. The only iron rule is you should never give bread to young Egyptian Geese, as it makes them liable to develop 'angel wing'.

The young Grey Wagtail was hunting insects in its favourite place near the Lido.

It's a good place for pictures too, as you can walk out on the jetty and get an angled view.

There are still a few dahlias in the Sunken Garden, and some bumble bees to enjoy them.

None of the owls was visible today. It was windy, and they don't like that.


  1. Thank you for your great blog, and especially for guidance as to where the Little Owls can be found. I saw one of them today at about 11.40am - have blogged about it here:

    1. Thanks, and well done to find the Little Owl, which I couldn't do today. I looked at your excellent blog, which I recommend to readers of this one.

      I've been giving instructions on finding the Tawny and Little Owl trees for years now, in every way I can think of, but somehow they seldom work. There are tens of thousands of trees in the park, and it's very hard to find just two of them.