Sunday 4 October 2015

The young Great Crested Grebes at the north end of the Long Water are now catching their own fish quite often ...

... but they are still being fed by their parents.

The parents chose their nest site in the reeds wisely, as it is only a short distance away from the apparently inexhaustible stock of fish under the marble fountain of the Italian Garden, which not even the constant raids of Cormorants can deplete.

The Moorhens that nested in the old drain near the bridge have also done well to get three chicks fledged. The shelter of the reeds here contributed to their survival. Here are the teenagers on the other side of the bridge.

One of the Cormorants on the Long Water was washing itself in a characteristically frantic way, throwing up clouds of spray.

There are groups of Red Crested Pochards cruising all over the Long Water. The drakes are now in their full regalia with the tall ginger coiffure that gives them their name, though it is not really a crest.

A little flight of Mallards circled around the Italian Garden.

The drakes, in their fine new breeding plumage, are already constantly pursuing females although they can't start nesting till next spring.

Now that bathing has stopped at the Lido, the local Pied Wagtail can use the railings on the jetty as a station for leaping out to catch passing flies.

A Robin was staring imaptiently at me from a tree near the Italian Garden, waiting to be fed.

The female Little Owl was in the same place as yesterday.

Now very calm about photographers, she seldom bothers to look down unless there are several people talking under her tree. Little yappy dogs also get her attention, so that you actually want someone with a Jack Russell to go past -- not at all a usual situation when birdwatching.


  1. This really cheered me up on a sad and stressful day to read of your sightings today.Striking and fun photos. Thanks Ralph.Gail

    1. Glad to hear that. It was a bit of a slow day and I didn't get anything exciting, but life in the park goes on.

    2. There is plenty of charm in the everyday - a lovely selection of pictures, thank you Ralph. I so enjoy watching waterfowl washing and preening. They do it so enthusiastically and thoroughly - I had to give up watching a Grebe washing in the Thames, because it just kept on with its ablutions long after my time had run out!

  2. Not wanting to rain on your parade, but I was at the eastern end of the open embankment opposite the (ghastly) Henry Moore at about 2 pm, and saw two people looking intently through long-lens cameras. I raised the sonics to see what had caught their attention, and saw a kingfisher in flight, flying from the eastern end of the Moore, or, better, rabbit-and-magpie enclosure over to the fenced thicket east of Peter Pan. Gone in a moment, but seen in bright sun. Turned out the long-lensers were watching . . . a squirrel, and missed the bird entirely.

    Harry G

  3. Sorry, that should be binocs. Predictive text as Dadaist as ever.

    1. Was wondering about the 'sonics', which sounded a bit Dr Who. Very glad you got a glimpse of the pair of Kingfishers. I've seen them several times in the past weeks, but not managed to get a picture. I talked to someone who had seen one perched on one of the posts just under the parapet of the Italian Garden, early one morning. Wish I were as lucky.