Wednesday 27 June 2018

There's a new family of Tufted Ducks at the west end of the island. This is only the second time that Tufted Ducks have bred in the park in the past 15 years. The ducklings can dive from the moment they are hatched, and we're all hoping that this will save some of them from the hungry Herring Gulls.

I tried to get a closer view of them with the help of the kind people at Bluebird Boats, who took me out to the island. But they had gone into cover by the time we arrived. However, I did get a good view of the Great Crested Grebe chicks, now almost as large as their father. You can hear them begging in the previous video.

There's a new family of grebes on the Long Water, from an unseen nest, with three chicks. The parents were keeping them on the east side of the Long Water between the Vista and the bridge, a place that can only be seen from a considerable distance, so it's impossible to get good pictures.

The chicks were being fed at frequent intervals ...

... with the inch-long carp that are now plentiful on the Long Water.

One of the young Coots at the Dell restaurant looked suspiciously at the camera.

The Greylag gosling brought up by the Canada Geese with 14 goslings of their own is beginning to be isolated from the rest of the brood. Its step-parents are still guarding it, but there's a noticeable distance between it and the other goslings.

Another Canada Goose carried its country's flag. (Actually it's a London Plane leaf, but it's the right shape.)

The two teenage Grey Herons stood side by side on the awning of the small electric boat.

The younger heron, which I think was hatched here in the upper nest on the island, was round the far side of the island, standing on an abandoned Coots' nest . This is a view from the boat.

This heron under the edge of the Italian Garden is an an area teeming with small fish, if only it can spot them under the thick carpet of weed. It's looking for an area clear enough to see through.

Many of the Great Tit fledglings are now coming to take food from my hand. They watch their parents and learn quickly.

The male Little Owl at the leaf yard was in the nest tree.

A beautiful female Black-Tailed Skimmer dragonfly rested in the long grass north of the Albert Memorial.

A Common Blue Damselfly flew over the little pond at the top of the Dell waterfall.


  1. I feel sorry for the young Greylag. Do you think it might persuade some adults of its own species to adopt it?

    1. It thinks it's a Canada. No cure for that, except maybe bitter experience.

  2. Always lovely to see more stripey heads. I have never seen a Grebe chick in the flesh. I do not doubt that, were I to see one, I'd coo and awww so much I'd become distracted.

    Great to hear that the Tufted Ducks managed to have a brood. Why were they not successful in past years?

    Poor Greylag gosling. It is going to be a confused creature for the rest of its life. Who knows, perhaps it'll manage to find a nice Canada mate and raise some hybrid goslings.

  3. Grebe chicks are irresistible from the moment they hatch.

    I don't know why Tufted Ducks are reluctant to breed in the park. They may be more intelligent than Mallards and appreciate the threat from the gulls. Other ducks apart from Mallards are also reluctant to breed here.

  4. Tufteds also unusually raised young in Golders Hill Park a few years ago, maintaining six for as long as I watched them over several weeks, apparently making a perilous pond-to-pond move. Maybe their Achilles' heel is predation of their nests; Mallards would be able to repel more predators especially if the drake stands guard.

    I wonder if the Greylag gosling is acting parasitically i.e. knows it's different all along. Geese are supposed to imprint strongly on the first large creature they see.

    Shame for the Canada Goose wearing the 'maple' that its home nation didn't make it to Moscow! Jim