Tuesday 10 May 2016

A Little Grebe appeared on the Round Pond.

The two Great Crested Grebes which arrived a fortnight ago are still there. The pair on the Long Water nesting near the bridge had decorated its nest with a bit of bright blue plastic.

The Black Swan had come up as far as the Vista. Here he is cruising in front of some people engaged in the traditional British pastime of texting in the rain.

The Egyptian Geese still have five young on the Round Pond. There was just one Herring Gull on the pond when I was there.

On the east side of the Long Water there was a tremendous musical duel between two Song Thrushes. They were in adjacent trees with their mates, and were doing their best to impress them as well as subdue their rivals.

For a change, it was the female Little Owl who was sitting out on the chestnut tree. Perched on the edge of her hole where she could retreat in a moment, she tolerated me quite well.

It was raining quite hard, but Little Owls don't seem to mind. However, they stay indoors on windy days.

Many birds were collecting food for their nestlings. A Starling was running along the edge of the Round Pond with a beak full of insects.

This Robin was in a tree on the east side of the Long Water, where there are half a dozen Robin territories.

There are also a lot of Wrens here. This young one was clamouring to be fed by its parents.

Yesterday, when it was sunny, Mike Meilack took this picture of the female Mandarin from the nest near the Albert Memorial, in the plane tree next to the Little Owls' oak tree. She was taking nine ducklings to the Serpentine.

Sadly, I found the pair together today with no ducklings left.

Mike also so a young Grey Wagtail with a parent on the line of plastic buoys around the Lido swimming area.

Today I saw one of the parents still collecting food, so this story has a happier ending.


  1. How elegantly the Black Swan cruises by. That is effortless beauty. "Beauty Without Vanity, Strength without Insolence, Courage without Ferocity".

    (Well, so perhaps he can be a tad insolent and ferocious as well).

    1. I think he can be cleared of vanity, anyway. If he saw his reflection in a mirror he'd attack it.

  2. curious to see a Little Grebe on the Round Pond? Our Long Water bird is normally so shy & elusive! lovely nonetheless.
    Mark W2

    1. Little Grebes visit the Round Pond quite often. It has enough small fish to feed them, but I can't think what else they see in this open, featureless place, so different from the overgrown ponds which are their usual habitat.

  3. So sorry to hear that the Mandarin ducklings have not survived.

    1. It's sad that the recent increase in numbers of Herring Gulls has made it so hard for water birds to breed here. Ducks are the hardest hit, and even the prolific Mallards seldom get more than a handful through. However, Mandarins are doing well nearby on the Regent's Canal between Little Venice and the Zoo.