Thursday 1 September 2016

The Moorhen family in the Dell were walking across the little waterfall in the middle of the stream.

So was a young Grey Wagtail.

Probably both were looking for small creatures in the moss in the less fast flowing parts.

There were a lot of Lesser Black-Backed Gulls on the Long Water, calling in their contralto voices, lower than a Herring Gull's ...

... and fighting over a bit of pizza.

They haven't seen the rapid increase in population that has occurred with the Herring Gulls, which breed locally in Paddington. But their numbers are going up, especially on the Long Water, and there are several juveniles with them.

You can see young Great Crested Grebes all over the lake, begging for food from their parents ...

... or just enjoying a quiet stretch.

There are also plenty of young Moorhens in all stages of development. This one was swimming over the wire baskets near the bridge. Its peculiar swimming action, slightly like pedalling an invisible bicycle, gets it along quite fast.

The Black Swan was on the gravel bank in the Long Water. Seeing the cygnet on the other side, he came over and fussed around it. The cygnet is not particularly responsive to these displays of affection.

The young Starlings now have almost all their shining adult feathers, just retaining a few patches of juvenile brown.

A Mistle Thrush perched in a maple on Buck Hill, calmly ignoring the helicopter ambulance which was taking off just the other side of the tree.

The male Little Owl near the leaf yard woke up for long enough to give me a severe look, then went back to dozing in the sunshine.

A Common Darter dragonfly took a few seconds of rest on the edge of one of the Italian Garden ponds.


  1. I haven't any experience whatsoever with Black Swan behaviour, so I wonder, is this Swan an especially affectionate animal, or is the species as a whole more affectionate than other swans?

    1. I have no experience either. But when he arrived he was exceptionally aggressive even by swan standards. They are creatures of strong passions. Maybe more so with Black Swans.