Sunday 25 September 2016

Great Crested Grebes were racing all over the Long Water. Two were having a territorial dispute.

A chick was chasing its parent to take a fish.

This is the parent's-eye view of a chick arriving at full speed.

But a Black-Headed Gull refused to shift off its post when another one tried to knock it off.

The dominant male Mute Swan on the Long Water was having a flap. His new flight feathers are coming along, but not yet fully grown.

A newly arrived Black Swan was seen on Saturday both at the London Wetland Centre in Barnes, and on Barn Elms Playing Fields nearby (see the London Bird Club Wiki). Could it be our friend from the park?

The young Grey Heron is still not free of the plastic tangled around its bill. Despite four days' starvation it can still fly, and had come up to one of the reed rafts off the Lido restaurant terrace, tantalisingly just out of reach of the people who were longing to help it. But it was looking tired and listless.

Later it flew down to its usual place on the little stream in the Dell. As I left, the heroic Malcolm was on his way from Richmond Park for yet another attempt to catch it.

The Moorhens have rebuilt their fifth temporary nest, which the heron trampled in his fury yesterday. One of the chicks was standing on it.

The feeder in the Rose Garden attracted a Coal Tit and a Chaffinch.

The pair of Nuthatches in the leaf yard came down to take seeds from the railings. One paused in a typical Nuthatch gravity-defying pose.

A Carrion Crow near the Albert Memorial sidled up expecting a peanut, which of course was provided.

The female Little Owl at the leaf yard was in her nest tree.

A party of volunteers were digging holes in Buck Hill and putting in vertical stacks of tree branches. The idea is that these will rot and provide a home for insects.

The Mistle Thrushes will be pleased.


  1. The heron thing is heartbreaking. I really hope he won't die before any help gets to him. Shame animals don't understand and hand themselves over to be helped:/

  2. That picture of the demanding teenage Grebe charging dreadnought-like on its surely exhausted parents would be enough to put the adults off having any more broods.

    Thank you for the update on the poor Heron. I have brought myself to believe that it will turn out well - Malcolm will be able to catch it soon. Let us all have trust.

    It seems strange that it is still upright after not having anything to eat for so long - perhaps it is able to eat miniscule creatures in the water it can drink? That would unfortunately be bad news.

    1. By the way, is there any means of confirming whether the Golden Child, our sorely-missed Black Swan, has been found, short of having Ralph apply the biscuit test?

    2. No further news of the heron so far. Of course I will keep you all informed as soon as I can.

    3. Even if I went to the Wetland Centre, I doubt I could apply the biscuit test. It's a curiously remote place where you are hundreds of yards from the birds, and of course the hides are just that -- the birds can't see you.

    4. That's assuming of course that it is our Black Swan
      Unless all Black Swans like Digestive Biscuits 😂