Tuesday 16 August 2016

The Moorhens nesting in the stream in the Dell are hatching their eggs. You can see two chicks waving their little featherless wings enthusiastically as their mother arrives, and one unhatched egg in the nest.

One of the Great Crested Grebes with a single chick on the Long Water caught a fish, along with a beakful of weed. Since the chick was pressing hard to be fed, the parent handed it over weed and all, and left it to the chick to sort it out.

This is a very dull picture of a grebe doing nothing, but it's on the Round Pond. A pair have been here since April, and seem perfectly content in this unsuitable-seeming place. There seem to be plenty of fish for them. But if they want to nest, they will have to fly down to the main lake. There is still time for this -- grebes have started as late as the beginning of September and brought up chicks successfully.

The Black Swan and his adopted cygnet were beside the willow tree next to the bridge. Swans seem to like nibbling willow leaves. These are full of salicylic acid, similar to aspirin, and would cure any headaches they might have.

The Tufted duckling and its mother were in their usual place at the east end of the reed bed east of the Lido.

While all the other Mallard drakes on the lake are in eclipse and looking very shabby, the white Mallard near the Dell restaurant is as smart as ever. He only has one suit and isn't going to change it.

A Greylag was having a vigorous flap after washing. Its new flight feathers have got a bit gappy in the process and are going to need careful preening to get the barbs lined up again.

The sunlight brought out the shine on the iridescent green secondaries of an Egyptian Goose.

But when it comes to iridescence, there are few British birds to equal an ordinary Starling.

The flock of Mistle Thrushes was back on Buck Hill, hopping around in the grass looking for worms.

Both the Little Owlets from the nest near the Albert Memorial were visible on different branches of their usual horse chestnut tree.


  1. The duckling was getting plenty of attention this morning from fellow wildlife photographers!:) shame it is tricky to feed him. We tried but the mother won't come close at all which is probably a good thing. Anytime we throw something for them a seagull lands and scoffs it off. Rather frustrating!

    1. I've tried to feed them too without result. It's good that they are keeping clear of people.

  2. Just when I thought it was not possible to improve on your previous picture of a starling, you proved me wrong. Simply wonderful picture!

    Do Swans self-medicate, I wonder? House Sparrows here collect cigarette butts and bring them to their nests, perhaps as a measure of pest-control.

    1. Thanks, but it's really quite easy to get pictures of shiny Starlings. On a sunny day, stand so that your shadow is almost falling on them.

      Yes, I've heard about that behaviour with cigarette butts. And it must be a 'cultural' transmission of information.