Thursday 28 June 2018

The Tufted Duck family have moved from the Serpentine island to the east end of the lake.

The ducklings like climbing on to their mother's back, though she isn't interested in carrying them and shakes them off.

When Mandarin drakes go into eclipse and lose their fine breeding plumage, the difference is very striking. But female Mandarins growing new feathers just look a little dishevelled for a while.

Blondie the Egyptian Goose has had a second brood this year, though there are only three goslings. One of them is blonde and, if it is lucky enough to grow up, will look like her. The family were at the terrace of the Dell restaurant, only a few feet from where Blondie herself was hatched.

The new Great Crested Grebe family on the Long Water were even farther away today and it was impossible to get a reasonable photograph. But the three chicks are in good shape.

The nest in the fallen poplar ...

... and the one in the reed bed ...

... although they have to be viewed from the far side of the lake, are a bit more visible. There is no sign of chicks yet on the first nest, after a false alarm last week. But the grebe on the second nest its wings slightly raised, and it's possible there's a chick under them.

One of the young grebes at the island got tired of pestering its father for food and went off to look for small fish in the shallow water at the edge.

A new family of Coots has appeared under the parapet of the Italian Garden -- you can hear the fountains. The chicks have no trouble getting through the water weed, although they can't run over it like the smaller and lighter Moorhen chicks.

Young Blue Tits and their parents were flying in and out of a dead tree near the bridge, and evidently this is where the nest was.

Several young Long-Tailed Tits were flitting around in a hawthorn near the Albert Memorial.

A dead branch on one of the catalpa trees near the Italian Garden is used as a lookout by Jackdaws.

The male Little Owl at the leaf yard was in the upper chestnut tree, but in an awkward place where he couldn't be seen clearly.

In the wildflower patch behind the Lido, it's the purple flowers, of several species, that get the most attention from Honeybees.


  1. I love the colours of the bee against the vivid purple.

    Great to see the Grebe chick taking its first steps towards independence! I imagine the technique of diving for fish must be genetically encoded, but do Grebe parents teach them anything, or do the chicks simply imitate what they see their parents do?

    I so hope we'll have a Blondie Junior!

    1. The grebe chicks dive to follow their parents and so learn hunting technique and places to look. But of course the leap from watching to doing is a big one.