Friday, 3 June 2016

The waterfowl on the lake are now beginning to moult seriously, and there are shed feathers floating along the shoreline. This has made the Mute Swans even more irritable than usual, and a big male near the bridge was beating up every other swan he came across. Here he is in mid-chase, with both swans colliding with a Canada Goose that was minding its own business.

The Black Swan avoided all this by going under the bridge on to the Serpentine, where he stayed on the fenced-off stretch of shore where the swans like to congregate.

His new flight feathers are developing well, and he is way ahead of the other swans in making the change.

The Greylag Goose family on the south side of the Serpentine were browsing in the shade of a weeping willow.

On the other side of the lake, the Mandarin duckling was darting about trying to catch flies.

I don't know whether it got any, but its mother was staying still, perhaps having learnt that ducks aren't quick enough to manage this.

The Great Crested Grebe chick from the nest on the island had got off its parent and was swimming around.

Grebe chicks can swim and dive from the moment they are hatched. But they are not able to keep warm for a few days, and must spend most of this time sheltered in their parent's feathers.

The young Grey Heron was standing in the nest on the island, preening a shaggy wing.

A Reed Warbler was singing at the east end of the Serpentine. He came out for a few seconds on a reed mace stem.

A young Blue Tit was hanging upside down in a tree near Peter Pan, calling for food.

The male Little Owl was on a small branch above the nest hole in his chestnut tree.

In fact the whole family was visible on and off, but although I visited the tree several times I always missed the female and the owlets. Maybe tomorrow will bring better luck.

Update: Tom got a fine picture of both owlets, and here it is.

While I was waiting, a Great Spotted Woodpecker climbed up a nearby tree.

A Buff-Tailed Bumblebee was visiting the flowers in the planters at the Lido restaurant.


  1. You know it's Serious Business when even a Canada Goose has to get out of the way not to be run over.

    Very lovely picture of the Bumblebee. We ought to be so grateful to these humble creatures. I may be recalling it incorrectly, but I think I remember reading that Europe would not fare as catastrophically as the rest of the world were the honey bees to disappear, precisely because of the several species of bumblebees that we have.

    1. Well, I hope they're right as the world heads towards catastrophe on every level.

  2. Love the Mandarin duckling and Great Crested Grebe chick. Amazing bee photo!

    1. Thank you. The bee picture was done with my long zoom lens from its minimum distance of 2 metres, a bit weird but an effective way of getting a close-up of an insect without frightening it.

    2. Yes, delightful Grebelet shot and a useful snippet of information too - always good to learn new things about these wonderful birds.