Sunday 12 August 2018

The Coot chick that went over the weir at the Serpentine outflow climbed out today -- not that it was much of a climb, since it only had to walk up a sloping plank.

When I went past later it had gone down again, and could be heard calling from under the arch. It must like the calm and safety of this place. As far as I know, this is the only Coot chick that has gone over the weir and survived.

Another Coot was stretching over the edge of the basin of the marble fountain in the Italian Garden to eat algae.

You wouldn't know this fountain was made of marble. It's thickly encrusted with slimy growth all over. When it was cleaned a few years ago, it went back to its original green in a few days.

More green: the three young Moorhen chicks in the fountain pool were in a thick bed of duckweed.

I've mentioned before that teenage Moorhens sometimes feed their young siblings. This chick begged to be fed.

It got a sharp peck instead.

When Great Crested Grebes bring fish to their chicks, they dive every few seconds to make it harder for gulls to track them and try to snatch the fish. The chick saw its mother approaching when she was surfaced, and hurried out to meet her. She came up right in front of it, and the Herring Gull behind them had no time to react.

The Tufted Duck with seven ducklings was at the island. They are now quite large.

We haven't seen a female Mandarin for a while, but today there was one at the Vista. While their mates are in eclipse and looking shabby, females remain as smart as ever.

There are several Greylag Geese with white patches on the lake, but this brilliant white one with a few grey patches hasn't been seen before. One of the more normal ones is shown later. These geese often have blue eyes. They may be crosses with domestic geese. But they are not hybrids, as domestic geese are genetically Greylags, bred for size.

A Bar-Headed Goose cruised past the Dell restaurant. They fly in and out from St James's Park quite often now, and it may not always be the same one. There were two at the Round Pond recently.

Someone gave a Canada Goose a croissant, which it ate enthusiastically.

The pigeon-killing Lesser Black-Backed Gull was disturbed by the weekend crowds, and took his latest victim out into the middle of the Serpentine.

The young Grey Herons, which were climbing around yesterday, were a bit subdued in the drizzle.

The female Kestrel was hunting on Buck Hill.

On the ground below, a young Carrion Crow investigated a bit of kicked-up turf to see if there were any edible creatures in it.

This fine picture of a Greenfinch is by Paul. A couple of days ago he found a family of them in the trees halfway between Peter Pan and the Italian Garden.  We've been looking for them, but haven't seen them since.

In the Buck Hill shelter some trainee Jedi were having bit of light sabre practice. I am not sure that the force was really with them.


  1. The Buck Hill shelter would surely reward constant attention. There is always something funny going on.

    That young Coot looks triumphant, like a mountaineer after a hard climb. Hurray for Coots' dogged determination to thrive!

    Canadas resemble humans even in their sweet tooth, it seems.

    1. That shelter is a temple to the god of strange pursuits, whatever his name is.

      I was thinking that the goose was relishing the fat content of the croissant. They are not noticeably keen on sweet fruit when people offer it to them -- of course the park visitors give them everything from açai to zucchini.