Friday, 28 July 2017

The Coots nesting at the bridge have lost their last chick yet again. They were frantically rebuilding their nest, and it looks as if they are going to try for a third brood, which will be equally unsuccessful in this exposed place.

The Great Crested Grebes who were trying to nest on the island have been pushed out, probably by the pair who have a nest just round the corner.They were back at the bridge, displaying to get over their disappointment. I'm sure they could find a site on the Long Water if they tried, but they seem committed to the Serpentine.

All the young Mallards have got through another day. The two at Peter Pan are really large enough now to be out of danger.

So are the young Mandarins. The family are almost always on the fallen tree at the south side of the Peter Pan waterfront. One of the young ones was traying to attract its mother's attention. She took no notice.

The Black Swan came over to the Diana fountain landing stage and, as usual, the bullying Mute Swan shooed it off. But the chase has become brief and perfunctory. The Black Swan just moved a few feet out of the way, waited until his opponent had gone, and came back.

A Cormorant sprawled inelegantly on a post and cooled itself by vibrating its throat, although it wasn't a hot day.

Moorhen 1: 'Wake up, dear, I've brought you  a lovely leaf.'

Moorhen 2: 'Uh.' (Puts it with the other leaves and is about to go back to sleep.)

Moorhen 1: 'Oh all right, be like that then.' (Exit.)

A young Herring Gull was sitting over one of the air bubblers in the Serpentine. These bring up a lot of sediment from the bottom, and with it probably many small edible creatures. But these may not be large enough to interest the gull, and perhaps it was just enjoying the bubbles.

A Stock Dove was drinking in the Dell. Many of the 'pigeons' you see in the park are Stock Doves, especially if they're in a tree. They're slightly smaller than Feral Pigeons (which are technically Rock Doves), and always the same pale purplish grey as a Wood Pigeon, with two dark wing bars less strongly marked than those of Feral Pigeons. They have dark eyes, unlike the orange-brown of Feral Pigeons.

Young Wood Pigeons don't have the distinctive white neck ring of adults, and can be mistaken for Stock Doves if you can't see their size -- they are considerably larger. They have pale eyes. In flight, they have distinctive white wing bars.

Now that the elderberries are ripe, there are Wood Pigeons in every bush gorging on the fruit.

The dull windy morning was not a good time for Little Owls, but eventually at the fourth visit to the leaf yard I found the female preening on a branch.

A Honeybee was collecting pollen from the anthers of a large purple flower in the Dell.

A White-Tailed bumblebee was being kept busy by a large composite flower, with each floret of the centre a separate source of pollen.


  1. It's so endearing that the Grebes console each other with displays of affection.

    The Moorhen vignette looks like an episode from a sitcom! Perhaps it might be continued?

    The Black Swan doesn't look all that flustered by the Mute Swan's chase. At this point it's as if the perfunctory flight were done to spare the Mute Swan's feelings.

    1. I had wondered about adding a third picture to the Moorhen story, but thought it might be too much. But, since you've mentioned it, I've put in in now.

  2. Oh, that's wonderful! Moorhen soap operas are the best kind of soap operas!