Monday 27 July 2015

The Great Crested Grebe family from the island hadn't been seen for several days. But they showed up today near the Lido, in an awkward spot that required a photograph from a hundred yards away. They are probably staying near the reed bed east of the Lido, where there are more small fish than around the island, where the supply was pretty thin.

At the Lido restaurant, one of the young Pied Wagtails was fearlessly running around under people's feet. Here it is on the back of a chair, at a table where people were having lunch.

The Moorhen family in the Italian Garden are still uneasily sharing a pond with the Coot family I photographed yesterday. The four chicks are well protected behind the wire netting around a clump of purple loosestrife.

The Mute Swans had brought their single cygnet to Peter Pan, knowing that its charm would win them all food. I'm not sure what it has picked up here, but it didn't like the offering and spat it out.

Seeing food, the Mallard family rushed in at top speed. The two ducklings are almost large enough to be out of danger from the big gulls.

In a recent comment, Cathy remarked that horror stories about gull attacks are all over the press, like this one. Well, it's the silly season, and we all know that gulls are opportunists and will grab anything edible. But let's not forget our own celebrated killer gull, the Lesser Black-Back at the Dell restaurant. When I found him today he had made a couple of unsuccessful rushes at pigeons on the ground, clearing a wide area around him, and was strutting around with a determined look in his pale eye.

There are a lot of young Dunnocks around the Long Water. This one on the other side of the path by the leaf yard, is a little older than the one I photographed the day before yesterday, and has lost the pink tinge at the base of its bill.

The young Reed Warblers are still highly visible in the reeds near the bridge.

The male Little Owl was in the maple tree, enjoying a sunny spell. We couldn't find the owlets, which are probably in the leaf yard.


  1. just wanted to say 'thank you' for all your photos recently of all those various youngsters- thank you!

  2. Confess to laughing out loud at parts of today's post. After your no-holds barred photos of killer seagulls in action ("our own celebrated killer gull") I think I am ready for any tabloid tales of their shenanigans.

    Lovely to see the grebelets doing well. I am smitten by the way adult grebes will rest their heads onto their own backs using their wings like a pillow. It just looks so beautiful.

    1. Still wondering how large the 'terrier' carried off by the gull was.

  3. in a splendid display of joined-up thinking and coherent policy-making, G. Osborne removed funding from a research project into gull aggression just a few weeks ago, deeming it 'low priority':

    Harry G.

    1. According to the Daily Mail article I mentioned, Cameron has said that 'something needs to be done' about the birds. Well, we all know about Cameron's promises, so the gulls can relax.