Wednesday 29 August 2018

Near the Italian Garden, Rose-Ringed Parakeets stripped off the outside of catalpa pods to get at the beans. The parakeets are originally from India and the tree is popularly known as an Indian bean tree, but in this case it's the other kind of Indians, as it's a North American tree. Nevertheless, the parakeets have discovered that the beans are palatable.

They were also eating rowan fruit in the trees on Buck Hill ...

... accompanied by Mistle Thrushes.

The Kestrel was on Buck Hill, but I only got a distant view of her ...

... before she was chased off by the usual aggressive Magpie.

She has sometimes attacked the Magpie, but seems to lack the resolve to deal with it thoroughly.

While I was looking for the Kestrel I saw two small brown birds that I think were more Whinchats, but didn't get close enough to identify them positively or get a picture before they flew up into a tree.

A Robin sang in a hawthorn tree beside the Long Water.

A young Pied Wagtail looked for insects along the edge of the Serpentine.

Only one of the young Grey Herons was visible. It was back in the nest, preening.

An adult used a Coot nest on the Long Water as a fishing platform.

This is one of the parents of the Coot chicks that were washed over the weir preened at the Serpentine outflow. The two chicks are still staying inside most of the time. You can hear one of them calling occasionally.

A Moorhen chick in the Italian Garden struck a pose ...

... recalling Raeburn's picture of The Reverend Robert Walker skating on Duddingston Loch.

They leave footprints that suggest a much larger bird.

The two Great Crested Grebe chicks from the west end of the island begged incessantly for food.

One of the Tufted Duck families fed at the edge of the Serpentine until shooed off by an aggressive Coot.


  1. That Coot made quite the beeline for the Tufted Ducks. What did it find so offensive? I notice that but a few seconds before a Moorhen made itself scarce. The video of the preening Coot shows convincingly that their black, grey and white scheme is rather pleasing if one goes for the monochromatic look.

    I've seen a Magpie pair tackle and drive away a Black Kite repeatedly. They are both impudent and good strategists.

    Love, love the Robin's singing!

    1. The aggressive Coot has a family nearby. The chicks are almost grown up, but the Coot still considers this stretch of shore as its territory.

      The Magpie is remarkably persistent in its attacks on the Kestrel. I do hope it doesn't drive the Kestrel away permanently.

  2. Pauline Gilbertson31 August 2018 at 10:03

    I love your comparison of the moorhen chick with the painting of the ice-skating reverend!