Monday 25 June 2018

The careless Mallard mother at Peter Pan has paid the price of her inattention, and has only one duckling left.

She was dangerously close to the posts, on which a line of Herring Gulls stood. One of them was eyeing a nesting Coot, hoping for some eggs or chicks to appear. Needless to say, no Coot nest here has ever succeeded, but that doesn't stop them trying.

The Long Water Mute Swan family were on the gravel bank, along with several Red-Crested Pochards, which arrive and leave unpredictably, coming from Regent's Park or St James's Park.

Others were in the middle of the lake eating water weed.

The white Mallard drake and the blonde female preened on the edge of the Serpentine.

This is the Greylag gosling accidentally adopted by the Canada Geese with 14 goslings of their own. It's still accepted by its step-parents, but the moment will surely come when they realise it's not theirs. It's big enough to survive on its own, but will always be handicapped by the fact that it believes it's a Canada and will try vainly to associate with them.

The Great Crested Grebe chicks were in the middle, begging loudly while their father took no notice and preened.

They will be sent off soon to fend for themselves. This is a testing time for a young grebe, but there were plenty of small fish at the edge of the lake, and these are relatively easy for an inexperienced bird to catch before it gains the skill to deal with larger prey.

A Moorhen took it easy on the edge of the lake. They are remarkably calm about people walking past inches away.

There was a Grey Heron in the upper nest again today. It wasn't doing anything, and was probably just using the nest as a place to rest.

Another heron was peering through the weed on the Long Water. There are certainly fish sheltering under the floating weed, but seeing them must be difficult.

The clamorous young Great Tits were quieter today. Perhaps some of them are beginning to find insects for themselves. But there were still fledglings calling near the bridge ...

... and parents coming out of the bushes to demand pine nuts for them.

The male Little Owl near the leaf yard basked in the hot sunshine at the top of the nest tree.

A male Emperor dragonfly rested for a few seconds on a reed.

A Small White butterfly drank nectar from a thistle.


  1. That's too much foolhardiness, even for a coot. To nest under the nose of all those Herring Gulls.

    I have been waiting to ask: are we now officially as out of danger as we ca be about the Grebe chicks? I have been trying to keep my expectations low, but I am chomping at the bit to start celebrating.

    1. When the grebe parents stop feeding their chicks, it's another very dangerous time. They have been playing at fishing. Now they have to learn to fish properly. By no means all of them survive. Having very small fish at the edge of the lake, as there are now, is helpful as these are easier to catch.