Tuesday 30 August 2016

A Mute Swan was wandering along the footpath of the Serpentine bridge, in danger from the passing traffic. She had been chased off the Long Water by the aggressive dominant swan -- attacking swans often try to force others on to the land -- and, unable to return, was looking vaguely for some other way down.

We kept her on the pavement and were wondering what to do next when, very fortunately, Tony the gardener came along. He knows how to pick up a swan without allowing it to struggle and maybe injure itself, and expertly grabbed her round the middle and held her neck with the other hand.

He carried her down to edge of the Serpentine and let her go, and she waddled crossly into the water ...

... and immediately sailed off under the bridge to the Long Water and into danger again.

The Black Swan and the adopted cygnet now seem to be tolerated by the dominant pair on the Long Water, and were on the gravel bank, where they now spend a lot of their time.

A Great Crested Grebe on the Serpentine brought a large perch to one of the chicks, which it just managed to swallow after several tries.

On the other side of the Long Water, a Moorhen chick from the nest in the drain was contemplating one of its prodigious feet.

Tom got this fine picture of a female Blackcap in the trees just above this spot. They are very shy and hard to photograph.

A Robin in the Flower Walk was scolding some invisible predator.

The male Little Owl near the leaf yard came out to his usual branch at midday.

Near the Albert Memorial, one of the Little owlets was briefly visible. They are spending time low down in a tree and you can't approach without disturbing them, so that they fly up into another tree and you have to grab a quick shot before they vanish.

There are still some Common Darter dragonflies.  This one was in the little pool at the top of the Dell waterfall.


  1. That is a wonderful action shot of Mel carrying a swan. I've never seen how it is done. It shows there is always something to know about what might seem simple, but isn't.

    1. Agreed; good man, that Mel.
      I've been particularly enjoying this year's crop of moorhen chick photos, by the way. Lovely portraits of odd little birds.

    2. Definitely the man of the moment. He just happened to be crossing the bridge.

  2. Mel has such a lovely friendly smile. The Swan does look peeved, though!

    That picture of the baby Moorhen contemplating its feet reminds me of human babies discovering their hands for the first time.

    1. Moorhen chicks can run like the wind from the moment they are hatched, but perhaps they have to discover why. Just as well that human babies can't.

  3. Correction I called Tony Mel by mistake. My apologies to both of them. I'm hopeless with names.