Monday, 18 September 2017

This is one of the Little Grebes on the Long Water, seen at Peter Pan. They are much less shy than Little Grebes normally are, which suggests that they have flown in from Regent's Park, where there are some exceptionally bold ones. This seems to be a third Little Grebe. The earlier picture published on Saturday 16th shows an adult in breeding plumage and a juvenile. This is an adult in winter plumage.

The Black Swan had also come on to the Long Water. He was having trouble with the dominant male Mute Swan, whose reflection can be seen in the background, but still had time to come over for his daily treat of birdseed.

A Mute Swan sleeping on the shore of the Serpentine was ruffled by the wind.

The male Tufted Ducks are coming out of eclipse and regrowing the smart white sides of their breeding plumage.

One of the three Great Crested Grebe chicks from the nest by the bridge was on an abandoned Coot nest, playing at nest making by picking up bits of stuff and rearranging them. Clearly this behaviour is hard wired into their brain -- just as it is with Coots and Mute Swans, which can't stop messing around with their nests even when they are complete.

There was a lot of activity in the rowan trees on Buck Hill. Here is a Mistle Thrush preening before going down to eat some more berries.

A Magpie was picking up fallen berries under the tree.

And there were two birds I haven't photographed here before: a Long-Tailed Tit scratching its ear ...

... and a Treecreeper climbing the rowan trunk.

Both these pictures were taken in the dark interior of the tree, so they aren't good.

Usually I don't photograph my regular customers in the leaf yard because you can't feed and photograph at the same time. But today I was there with Johanna, who kindly fed them. This male Great Tit ...

... and Robin ...

almost always come out when I visit.

When Rose-Ringed Parakeets eat catalpa beans, the first step is to bite through the stem to detach the pod.

Then it is held in a foot and split to expose the beans.

Another thing that Feral Pigeons won't eat: sweet potato. They don't like watery fruits and vegetables.


  1. Lovely to meet your usual customers! Two fine fellows they are too.

    I am amazed at how bold that Little Grebe is. A couple of days ago we visited a reservoir to watch the waterfowl and the Little Grebes there bolted as soon as they got sight of us. Why are Little Grebes at Regent Park bolder than the others, I wonder?

    1. There are long stretches of hard-edged shore on the Regent's Park lake. The Little Grebes would have got used to people on the shore quite close to them -- as the Great Crested Grebes on the Serpentine have. I have stood on the edge of the lake in Regent's Park with Little Grebes fishing inches from my toes.