Saturday 31 October 2015

The young Great Crested Grebes from the nest on the island haven't been easily visible for some time, and I don't know whether all three survived. But here at least are two of them playing at the adult greeting ritual.

They are almost indistinguishable from adults in winter plumage, but still have faint traces of vertical stripes. An adult would have a faint horizontal smudge here.

The young grebes from the nest on the fallen poplar were again under the bridge begging for food from their parents. Swimming half submerged is part of their begging behaviour, as if to say 'Look how small I am, I need feeding.'

The strange romance of the Black Swan and the Mute cygnet continues. The Black Swan raised its head and gave a series of quiet cries which are presumably part of its courtship ritual. But these meant nothing to the other swan. Mute Swans are not quite silent -- they snort and hiss -- but they certainly don't have a courtship call.

On the Long Water a pair of Shovellers approached, shovelling furiously.

A Moorhen was perched on the fallen poplar branch at Peter Pan. It wasn't doing anything, but it looked pretty and you can't have drama in every shot.

A Pied Wagtail was hunting flies on the roof of the Serpentine Gallery.

There are still plenty of flies. Here is a beautiful Greenbottle on the edge of the leaf yard. The red eyes make an elegant addition to the ensemble.

The male Little Owl was out on his branch in the morning.

Later he went in and the female owl came out in the other tree to bask in the afternoon sunlight.

A second after I took this picture the Red Arrows flew overhead with a deafening roar, and she whipped her head round to see where the noise was coming from. Unfortunately she turned away from me, so it didn't provide an interesting photograph.


  1. Never a dull moment with the on-off black swan romance. I predict it will all end in tears (or a flurry of huffy hissy feathers).

    1. Well, we've got one cross-species couple, a Canada-Greylag hybrid with a Greylag, and they've been together for years.

    2. The mind absolutely boggles Ralph as to what the off-spring would look like! I saw some Muscovy/Mallard crosses (I think - they were in the wild) at Burford recently. Great plump beautiful ducks they were too!