Thursday, 6 July 2017

One of the young Carrion Crows on Buck Hill tried to peck open the shell of a peanut but couldn't manage it. A parent gave it a lesson, and after that it succeeded with a bit of an effort. Its sibling was also given a lesson, but still couldn't get the nut open.

A Great Crested Grebe at the island brought a larva to feed a chick.

Another pair of grebes were trying to build a nest in two unpromising places under a willow tree near the Serpentine bridge, but couldn't get the first pieces to stick. There is a Coots' nest here, but they can't take it over because the Coots are still using it for their chicks.

The Coots nesting at Bluebird Boats have kept their brood of five intact by staying near the platform and the pedalos.

This picture shows how much smaller the Black Swan is than a Mute Swan. But he always barges his way to the front of the crowd when the swans are being fed.

The newest Greylag family on the Serpentine is in good order, and the goslings are growing visibly.

At the east end of the lake, a pair of Greylags were wandering around inside one of the plant rafts. There is a fine variety of plants for them to eat here. They didn't seem be be bothered about how to get out afterwards. The fence has probably been broken on the far side of the raft.

The behaviour of a large number of dog owners at the Vista is inexcusable. It is always owners who act so viciously; the dog walkers are licensed and know that they are not allowed to let their dogs off the lead near water. There are notices, of course, but dog owners live in a world where nothing exists except them and their pets, and don't consider that the rules apply to them.

The white-faced Blackbird near the Italian Garden is now a complete sultana addict. She waits for me to go past her territory, and immediately comes out to demand her treat.

The female Little Owl at the leaf yard was on her usual branch, a bit windswept in the breeze.

Although the birds were not doing much on a hot day, the insects were very active. Here is a pair of Black-Tailed Skimmer dragonflies mating, a long and complicated business.

A female Emperor dragonfly laid eggs on various bits of debris under the parapet of the Italian Garden.

There was a Small Red-Eyed damselfly on a patch of algae in one of the Italian Garden ponds. These appear later than the ordinary Red-Eyed Damselflies.

A heap of algae dredged from the pond had a Small Skipper butterfly on it.


  1. Was it one of the parents who was cawing at the beginning of the video? You can almost hear "you're doing it wrong!".

    I think the Black Swan has an edge over our swans because of his provenance. He is Australian. Everything wants to kill you in Australia, so what is a little Mute Swan compared to funnel spiders? Now seriously, I wish there was an account of the first time a black swan was sighted by an European. It had to be a dazzling experience.

    1. I don't know what the adult crow was casing about, but it did sound like a cry of exasperation so I edited the video to get it happening at what seemed the right time.

      According to Wikipedia, the first European to see a Black Swan was the Dutch Explorer Willem de Vlamingh, in 1697. No doubt aware of Juvenal's satire, he thought it significant enough to name the river where he saw it the Swan River, which name it still has. It runs through modern Perth.