Friday, 21 July 2017

Today's blog post will be in two parts. It's another late opening day at Rainham Marshes, and I will post any pictures I get there late tonight.

There was time for a quick walk round the park. A Blackbird seized a blackberry and flew off with it.

A Blue Tit in a bush was waiting to be fed.

The Little Owl near the leaf yard was in an awkward place where she was almost impossible to photograph. As I struggled through the brambles under the tree, she glanced back over her shoulder.

The pair of young Magpies that are almost always near the bridge were teasing a Coot.

The abandoned Coot nest at Peter Pan has been taken over by a female Pochard. She was there yesterday too.

She isn't nesting, just using the nest as a resting place. I don't think Pochards have ever bred in the park, though a pair of Red-Crested Pochards successfully raised two young a few years ago.

A Mallard with just one very small duckling appeared at the boathouse. She must have lost all the others to gulls or crows in a very short time.

But the other two Mallard families, at Peter Pan ...

... and on the Serpentine ...

are hanging on, and may now have a chance of survival.

The Black Swan was preening his elaborate ruffles.

Two Mute Swan cygnets enjoyed a moment of silliness on the Serpentine.


  1. It must be Silly Cygnet Season.

    1. It's a sadly uneventful time of year, and every bit of silliness is most welcome.

  2. I hope you had a good trip to Rainham.
    Here are some updates from this afternoon: the Black Swan was near the bridge but got too near a group of 4 cygnets, whose mother chased him away. He drifted under the bridge and started feeding in the Long Water. The Little Owl was quite visible near the top of the tree but soon flew further in, probably alarmed by noisy crowds of people feeding pigeons and parakeets. Great Crested Grebes were feeding their chicks near the Lido cafe, and House Martins were flying low over the water nearby.

    1. Thanks for the information. I had always supposed that it was bad weather that kept the insects down near the water, and therefore also brought down the birds hunting them. But this seems to be wrong.