Thursday 28 May 2015

There were three families of Pied Wagtails. Two were on the edge of the Serpentine, and here are three of the young ones running around the hideous plastic pontoon structure which has been built across the lake for the triathlon.

It's a pity that this horrible thing attracts interesting birds while the natural gravel banks carefully made to attract them in the Long Water is only populated by the usual park inhabitants.

Young Pied Wagtails are very beautiful pale versions of their parents. Here is one wading through a puddle beside the Round Pond.

There was a comment by Harry G. in yesterday's blog: he had seen three Great Crested Grebe chicks at the east end of the Serpentine island, being fed by their parents. I hadn't seen them. Today I photographed a pair of adults in this very spot, but there were no chicks. I hope this is a different pair.

In spite of the many gulls on the lake, a pair of Coots next to the small boathouses have managed to keep three chicks alive. Here one of them tries a leaf to see if it's tasty.

There are plenty of young Long-Tailed Tits in the bushes all over the park. Here two of them preen themselves while waiting for their parents to bring food.

The Round Pond was thick with Swifts zooming low over the water. It is a curious thing about acrobatic birds -- not just hirundines but also gulls -- that even when they are pulling tight turns they keep their heads horizontal. A human pilot performing such a manoeuvre would tilt his head at the same angle as the aircraft.

The pair of Mute Swans who have made an on-and-off nesting attempt in the reeds by the Diana fountain seem to be back in residence. Here is one of them with an impassive Grey Heron.

There are remarkably few rabbits on the grass around the Henry Moore sculpture. I saw one yesterday, and this very young one today. I don't think there's been an outbreak of myxonmatosis recently. Can it be all down to the family of foxes beside the lake?

The male Little Owl was tucked up on a high branch in his chestnut tree, not taking much notice of the people who had come to see him.


  1. Aerobatic. ;-) Jim n.L.

  2. Ὃ γέγραφα, γέγραφα.

  3. Lovely coot chick photo. Swans still successfully occupying their nest on the slipway in Henley. Me and someone else were taking photos. Even the ice cream van being parked nearby has not put them off!

  4. Does the Greek word mean 'I have written'?

    1. It's what Pontius Pilate said, in John 19:22.

  5. Dear Ralph,

    Thanks for my moment of immortality! I should stress that the Grebe chicks were small and riding on their mother's back, almost all the time hidden by her feathers. It was only a slight sense that the bird looked "scruffy" – not their usual 'jizz' at all – that kept me coming back with the binocs repeatedly until finally I saw what it was. But they were not evident to the naked eye at all.

    Harry G.

    1. I still can't find them, but the lake is very messed up by the traithlon.