Saturday, 3 June 2017

A Little Owl chick was out on a branch in the chestnut tree near the leaf yard, making its hissing begging call. But all I could see was a few feathers showing through gaps in the leaves, so you will have to wait for a picture.

The adults were both visible. This is the male ...

... and this is his mate.

The House Martins are busy on the Kuwaiti Embassy. It's hard to be sure how many of the hidden nests are active, but at the moment it's at least four. Here two birds tumble together out of a nest hole. Of course they are too agile to collide.

The people at Bluebird Boats gave me another ride out to the Great Crested Grebes' nest on the island, and I got this video of the sitting bird preening and giving a couple of loose feathers to the chick.

A few minutes later we saw the grebes from the east end of the lake cruising up to the island in a determined manner. This is way off their territory, but they were never able to establish a nest there. Are they thinking of nesting on the island? There will be a fight, but they might succeed.

Matueusz Kocinski at Bluebird Boats had been out on the lake earlier, and saw a Grey Heron attacking a Coots' nest on the island. He got this interesting video on his smartphone.

When we looked at the nest later, a Coot was sitting calmly as if nothing had happened. Evidently the pair had managed to beat off the attack -- heaven knows how they managed to resist that ferocious beak.

There is a new family of Coots on the rafts at the east end of the Serpentine.

The Egyptian Geese who nested on a raft still have five goslings.

Here are three of Blondie's goslings, now almost full grown, sunbathing on the edge of the Serpentine. The other two were a short way off. But Blondie is no longer looking after them, and has been by herself for a couple of days. Evidently she thinks she has done her duty.

The Mute Swans with five cygnets were parading them to get food from the Saturday visitors.

This routine shot of the swans on the gravel bank unexpectedly included the Mandarin family at the far right. They haven't been seen for several days. On close examination of the picture, four ducklings are visible.

A Mallard drake was taking it easy in the water lilies in the Italian Garden.

The edge of the Long Water was noisy with young Great Tits begging for food from their parents.


  1. Coots are really something else. Holding their own against a Heron's spearlike beak: what weapons do they have? They have no talons, no curved beaks. I guess sheer pluck and their long legs do the trick.

    Lovely video of the Great Crested Grebe chick eating small feathers.

    1. There is nothing more obstinate than a Coot. Compared to them, even charging rhinoceroses are plagued with doubt and hesitation.

  2. Replies
    1. You just have to keep snapping till you get a good one. Have deleted hundreds of pictures, many of which didn't even have a bird in.