Thursday 31 May 2018

Yesterday evening Charlie Farrell saw a pair of Black-Necked Grebes on the Long Water just south of the gravel island, and got this distant but clear video from the other side of the lake.

This isn't the first time that Black-Necked Grebes have been seen in the park, but they are very rare visitors indeed. Tom, Barry and I looked carefully for them this morning, but without success. They may have just been passing through.

A Coot was trying to reclaim the nest at the island which the Great Crested Grebes stole from it.

But it left without a fight when it saw the grebes and their chicks arriving. The parents got on to the nest and mated as if to show it who was boss. They are still feeding their two chicks from an earlier brood on this nest.

A Coots' nest at the island, built in the gap between two floating baskets of water plants, now has chicks in it.

The five Coot chicks in the nest under the Dell restaurant are now very active. So far the overhanging balcony has protected them from gull attacks.

I thought there were two families of Mute Swans on the Serpentine, each with four cygnets.

But there's another one with five.

With the pair on the Long Water, also with four young, the total of cygnets is now 17.

Several families of Greylag Geese have moved to the north side of the Serpentine. The grass is longer here, and there is plenty for their many hungry goslings.

A female Blackbird enjoyed a leisurely bathe in the little pool at the top of the waterfall in the Dell.

A Starling at the Round Pond collected insects to take to its nestlings.

The female Little Owl at the leaf yard was at the top of the chestnut tree.

There were a lot of these on a tree near the Round Pond. I think they're the caterpillars of the Jersey Tiger Moth.

Several Black-Tailed Skimmer dragonflies were hunting behind the Lido.  This is a male. You can see him breathing by expanding and contracting his abdomen.

In this species the females are more ornamental than the males.


  1. Oh wow, great sighting of Black-Necked Grebes! It's our loss that they should have played hide and seek today though.

    Wouldn't it be in the interest of the Grebe parents to continue to raise their almost-teenage chicks to self-sufficiency rather than starting again from scratch? I cannot understand Grebe logic sometimes.

    Teenage goslings are so lanky and gangly, all long legs.

    1. I think that Great Crested Grebes regard having only two surviving chicks as a failure and may decide to start again. This is certainly the case if they have one.