Wednesday 2 August 2017

The Jackdaws in Kensington Gardens haven't been visible for several weeks, but today five turned up at once under the Little Owls' tree near the leaf yard, all expecting to be given peanuts.

The Little Owls were wisely staying in their hole on a nasty day, so I couldn't get a picture.

A wide area of debris under a hornbeam tree beside the Long Water showed where Rose-Ringed Parakeets were ripping off shoots to get at the developing seeds.

A Wren was calling loudly in a tree in the Dell. A closer look showed that it had caught two spiders.

A pair of Carrion Crows east of the Dell have a late family, still calling loudly for food while all the other young crows are grown up and fending for themselves.

One of the young Robins in the Rose Garden emerged from a flower bed.

At least 80 House Martins and Sand Martins were scooting low over the Serpentine, catching insects which tend to fly low when it's raining. The bird in the foreground is a House Martin.

But most of the pictures I got were of Sand Martins, so they must have been in a considerable majority.

Four Cormorants were preening and drying their wings on posts at the Serpentine island. There were also some on the Long Water. The number on the lake is steadily rising.

The Moorhens at the bridge still have six chicks. Here are some of them under a bench beside the Serpentine.

A few yards away, the indefatigable Coots are nesting for the third time. It seems impossible that any chicks will survive in this exposed place.

Both sets of Great Crested Grebe chicks have reached an adventurous age were wandering all over the place and diving, though they have little chance of catching anything yet. This one was resting on the Long Water below the bridge.

They returned to their parents soon enough to beg for fish. This is one of the family on the Serpentine.

The Black Swan didn't appear for a long time, which was unfortunate because Tom had brought a friend to see it. Later, when it was raining harder and I was about to squelch home, he appeared on the far side of the Serpentine, peacefully accompanying some Mute Swans.

The white Mallard didn't mind the rain. He is losing the creamy colour of his new feathers, and going pure white again.

The youngest brood of Greylag Geese grazed beside the Serpentine, following their mother while their father kept a constant watch for dogs running loose.


  1. What a wonderful picture of the Mute and Black Swan swimming side by side companiably! Here's hoping that he'll adopt a cygnet soon, and that it'll turn out better than that juvenile deliquent, the Girlfriend.

    Brave little Wren! Those spiders are almost as large as he is.

    1. He's been eyeing up some cygnets recently. His intentions are not clear, to put it mildly.

      I don't think those spiders put up much of a fight. They must have been grabbed from their webs. Some earlier pictures in the sequence show trailing bits of spder silk.

  2. The tree being vandalised by the parakeet is a hornbeam, not a hazel. I don't think there would be much nourishment in those seeds yet.

    1. Thanks for the correction. The leaflets around the seeds must be sweet or somehow attractive. Parakeets seem to ravage various trees in this way, and are also partial to young dandelion leaves before they turn tough and bitter.

  3. I'm impressed by the Sand
    Martin over the Serpentine !! Very very impressive... don't take them for granted lol !

    1. You have to take a terrible lot of photographs and hope that one works.

  4. Am used to seeing the Canada and greylag geese crowding on the south bank in the mornings, but interested to see so many coots now gathering there. There were 150 of them ranged along the water's edge this morning. Are they planning something, as feared by Tinuviel? Kim Fletcher

    1. Large numbers of Coots often gather on the shore by the Triangle car park. The attraction is that people arrive by car with food, and can't be bothered to walk more than a few yards from the car park.