Friday, 15 June 2018

The Moorhens' nest improbably sited at the top of a hawthorn tree on the Dell restaurant terrace has chicks in it. It's almost impossible to see anything through the leaves, but you can just see a chick on the right.

Another very difficult nest to see and photograph is just round the corner of the waterfront at Peter Pan. I hadn't realised that there is a fairly large chick here till one of the parents arrived to feed it.

The Moorhens in the Italian Garden were keeping their chicks inside a clump of plants. This involved leaping over the fence to feed them, but agile Moorhens take that kind of thing in their considerable stride.

I hope the netting won't be a problem as the chicks grow larger. A few years ago a Coot chick got stuck in the net, which at that time was made of wire mesh, and had to be rescued with wire cutters.

The Coots' nest on the edge of the Serpentine at the Lido restaurant remains a going concern. I think the birds might just get away with nesting in this silly place.

The wire baskets of plants around the island provide a safe playground for Coot chicks. These baskets have not been a success as planters, as most of the plants have died and no one has thought of replanting them, but they make a haven for water birds.

At the other end of the island, a Coot was adding a feather to its nest. The nest has been built up considerably since they recaptured it from the Great Crested Grebes.

The grebes' nest in the reed bed on the Long Water doesn't have many reed stems in its construction, and is mostly made of the conventional twigs and weed. In reed beds elsewhere, grebes make good nests entirely from reeds. But the beds on the lake are only a few years old, and the local grebes haven't got the idea yet.

The Canada Geese with 15 goslings came on to the Long Water and  try to land at the Vista to crop the grass. But the two smallest goslings couldn't get up the kerb, so their parents abandoned the idea and returned to the lake.

It was a bad idea to come to the Vista anyway. The dominant Mute Swans with their cygnets were just across the lake, and they have a peculiar hatred for Canada Geese and often attack them for no reason.

Note another foolishly sited Coot nest in front of the gravel bank.

The Mallard I filmed yesterday on the Serpentine has kept her three chicks from the gulls for another day, and they were eating water weed at the island.

A Gadwall drake looked quietly elegant in the shallow water at Peter Pan.

A young Blue Tit near the bridge fluttered its wings to get its parents to feed it.

A Honeybee climed into a flower to get at the nectar.

A Greenbottle fly glinted gold in the sunlight.

A patch of flowers at the edge of the pool in the Dell was constantly visited by Common Blue Damselflies. They were not interested in the flowers, but in catching the insects attracted to the flowers.


  1. The dominant swan at the Vista looks imposing, even from a distance. And very ill-tempered. Not that it's going to deter the Coot from nesting under its very feet, of course.

    Speaking of Canadas, I just saw this gif that may explain why they are so successful as parents.

    1. Canadas in North America have a reputation for being much fiercer than they are here. And of course this one was worried about the smallest gosling not being able to get up the kerb.