Wednesday 31 May 2017

Young Pied Wagtails were running around the edge of the Round Pond ...

... being fed by their parents. This one is getting a damselfly.

The Grey Wagtails on the Serpentine are not so far ahead, and are still feeding their young in the nest. This parent was collecting insects at the Lido.

A pair of Nuthatches in the leaf yard are now regularly coming to my hand. They have at least one chick to feed, which can be seen occasionally in the background.

Sunbathing Feral Pigeons were sprawled on the grass nearby.

The male Little Owl was moving around restlessly in the chestnut tree.

The wave of ill luck continues to affect the Mute Swans. The pair on the Long Water have lost a cygnet.

A swan near the island saw off a Herring Gull that had come too near her young.

The family on the raft have not had any further losses. When the parents preen, the cygnets copy them.

On the Round Pond, a Coot chick was reclining idly on the raft with the solar panel ...

... while the adults got on with the serious business of pointless fighting.

The pigeon-killing Lesser Black-Backed Gull had claimed a new victim on the gravel bank on the Long Water, the first time I've seen him hunting there. This picture was taken from the other side of the lake.

There were four terrapins, all Red-Eared Sliders, on the fallen horse chestnut tree on the Long Water.

The conventional wisdom is that they can't breed in the British climate, but it is beginning to look as if recent warm summers have allowed them to.

Tuesday 30 May 2017

Both the Little Owls at the leaf yard were out in the chestnut tree, the male easy to find on an exposed branch ...

... but his mate almost hidden in the leaves.

A Wren near the bridge was also hard to see in the foliage.

One of the Grey Wagtails from the nest opposite was hunting on the edge of the Serpentine.

Although most of the young Starlings have been out for some time, there are still a couple of active nests in the plane trees near the small boathouses. You can hear the young birds calling inside the holes.

A Magpie had picked a spider's web off the boathouse wall and was combing it for edible insects.

Another near Peter Pan had sadly taken a chick from a nest and carried it into the bushes to eat it.

The Mute Swans have suffered further misfortunes. The injured cygnet at the east end of the Serpentine seems to have died. The mother with the remaining three was angrily shooing off the local Coot family.

The swans at the Lido have also lost a cygnet. This picture was taken through a hole in the wooden gate.

The family at the island is still intact, at least.

It has not been a good year for the swans. But the geese are doing better, thanks to the constant vigilance of their parents. There is a new brood of two Canada goslings on the south side of the Serpentine.

Farther along the bank, the parents of the single gosling saw a loose dog coming and made for the safety of the water ...

... where the two other broods had already taken refuge.

On the other side of the lake, two Greylag ganders with no families had nothing better to do than fight, egged on by their mates.

The Mandarin family on the Long Water still have five ducklings.

Monday 29 May 2017

When I passed the raft at the east end of the Serpentine this morning, the Mute Swans only had four cygnets -- three were missing.

The male of the pair was at the other end of the raft, circling angrily in competition with another male.

I didn't know what had happened. But Virginia had been there earlier and had seen the end of the events. The fourth cygnet was by itself on a raft, being harassed by some other swans. It had a cut on its head.

Its father rescued it and shepherded it back to the others ...

... and it was reunited with them, confused but alive.

She thinks they had been attacked by foxes. A fox would be perfectly capable of swimming out to the raft.

The swan family on the Long Water were on the gravel bank, next to the Mandarin with her ducklings.

Near the small boathouses, another swan barged ashore in the middle of the Greylag nursery, to the displeasure of the geese.

All the Canada goslings except for the solitary eldest one were being looked after by one pair of adults, with the lookout scanning the horizon for danger.

Virginia reports that there is now another brood of five Greylags, and also that the swans at the end of the Lido now have three cygnets, possibly with more to come, though she couldn't get a picture as the gates of the Lido swimming area were being shut for the day's paid session.

A Great Crested Grebe on the nest on the Long Water has having a faceoff with a Coot.

The young Grey Heron at the island was sitting on a post, looking goofy as young herons tend to.

One of the Grey Wagtails nesting near the bridge caught an insect.

The young Long-Tailed Tits are beginning to look a bit more grown up.

The Little Owl at the leaf yard was shifting uneasily on his branch ...

... because there was a Magpie staring up at it from a lower branch.

A last bit of drama -- the tip of a squirrel's tail found by a visitor. But we shall never know the story of the squirrel's narrow escape.

Sunday 28 May 2017

It seems almost certain now that there are two Grey Wagtail nests -- one in the usual place under the little plank bridge across the Dell waterfall, the other in the willow tree overhanging the Long Water near the road bridge. This is one of the parents from the second nest, hunting along the shore on the other side of the bridge.

The young Long-Tailed Tits have started feeding themselves. They grow up very fast.

But the young Starlings are still chasing their parents through the trees shouting for food. Here an adult takes time off duty to have a preen in the winged elm tree near the Italian Garden.

There was a sight of a Little Owl in the chestnut tree near the leaf yard.

While we were there, a Hobby whizzed past and there was just time to snatch a picture of it.

The Great Crested Grebe chick from the island was between the moored boats, waiting for its parents to bring it a fish.

The young Grey Heron often stands on the baskets surrounding the island.

This pair of herons, both only a year old, were on the gravel bank at the Vista.

Above them in the trees there are three large baskets put up for herons to nest in. But so far no heron has realised what they are for. The baskets on the island in Regent's Park are used by herons because they were put in an existing heronry, but these trees have never been used.

A pair of Mute Swans were so busy mating that they narrowly avoided being hit by a pedalo on the crowded Serpentine.

The swan family at the east end of the lake still have seven cygnets, but one was riding on its mother's back and refused to poke its head out.

This is the family on the Long Water.

The two families of Greylag Geese on the Serpentine were back together.

A Mandarin drake was preening on a post at Peter Pan.