Monday 8 August 2016

A Grey Wagtail was standing at the top of the waterfall in the Dell. It was picking little creatures out of the water as they went over the top.

This is one of the adults that nested under the little plank bridge. It's not looking its best. because it's moulting.

The Tufted duckling is still around, to everyone's relief and slight surprise. But this picture is from yesterday, a fine photograph by Virginia. The mother and duckling hang around near the Coots' nest in the netting to the east of the Lido. Every time they go near it a Coot rushes out and attacks them. The mother tired of this, and attacked the Coot and drove it away. Then, to make her point, she sat on the nest for several minutes.

On the other side of the lake, some Coots were having a fight, with the chicks looking on to learn proper Coot behaviour.

A Cormorant was trying to balance on the chain between the posts at the island. It lacks the balancing skill of a Grey Heron or a Moorhen, and was rocking around unsteadily.

The Great Crested Grebe family from the island nest were out in their usual place next to the moored launch.

Their previous offspring was fishing along the edge of the lake.

This distant picture is the first sight of one of the chicks in the grebes' nest in the reeds on the Long Water. We shan't be able to see how many there are till they come out.

A bunch of Mute Swans were clustering around the heap of submerged sandbags that has become a snail restaurant. Two couples were taking the opportunity for a bit of courting.

The Black Swan was on the bank of the Long Water next to the bridge, obsessively tearing up plants. Like a Coot, he can't stop nesting. The adopted cygnet was watching him from the water.

All is not well with the Canada Goose family that includes the adopted Greylags. One of the young Greylags seems to have been driven out, and was hiding in the bushes with a nasty peck wound on the back of its neck. Jorgen said that these two had been attacking the gosling, probably just because of the usual tendency to gang up on losers. When I visited the family, the other two young Greylags were sitting peacefully with their step-parents. The photograph I took of nothing happening is too dull to publish.

Paul saw two Hobbies at the east end of Hyde Park. We hadn't seen any since the spring and had given up looking for them, thinking that one of the pair had died. It's good to know that they are still around. The birds were too far away to see if one of them was a juvenile, which would be even better news.

There also seemed to be discord among the Little Owls near the Albert Memorial. As I arrived, there was the sound of an adult calling loudly from an oak, and one of the owlets flew out of the same tree. It landed in a horse chestnut and perched next to the other owlet.

I think the adult was trying to drive them away. It was the male, seen here sitting in the oak.

Several insect traps have been set up in Kensington Gardens. Evidently some kind of survey is going on.

The funnel at the bottom is filled with alcohol, and the fumes entice the insects into the trap, where it poisons them. At least they die happy.

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