Sunday 30 September 2018

A young Great Crested Grebe at the island stretched, in the peculiar concave shape that they find comfortable. A couple of Black-Headed Gulls were hanging around to try to snatch a fish when the parent feeds the young one.

Cormorants dried their wings on the posts. Their numbers are still increasing as they arrive to eat this year's young fish, which they will do with terrible efficiency till few are left.

A Grey Wagtail ran across the island. In spite of their bright yellow undersides they are remarkably well camouflaged, and I wouldn't have noticed it if it hadn't been calling.

The pigeon-killing Lesser Black-Backed Gull was between meals, and stood on the roof of the Dell restaurant against a background of autumn leaves.

A Moorhen pushed a Black-Headed Gull off a post at a bridge. It then went along the chain to the next post and pushed a gull off that one too. There is no doubt that they enjoy this.

The Coots at the Serpentine outflow have long since abandoned their nest and gone off with their single chick. A Moorhen surveyed the debris that has collected.

Idiots enjoy throwing iifebelts into the lake. On the other hand, the lake is very shallow at the edges, and when people fall in, which they do quite often, they can just stand up until someone finds a way to pull them up the slippery edge.

The discovery of what is certainly a domestic West of England Goose at the Round Pond raises the question of whether this is one too, or a wild Greylag that just happens to have white patches and blue eyes. It was on the south shore of the Serpentine.

Also here, a Jackdaw perched on a post supporting a young tree. They are expanding their territory, and will soon cover the whole park.

In Richmond Park Jackdaws have become so numerous that there are forcing out the Carrion Crows.

The two young Grey Herons perched on a boathouse roof, a good distance apart. Once inseparable companions, they are now becoming solitary adults.

A Long-Tailed Tit paused for a moment on a twig beside the Long Water.

The Coal Tits near the bridge came out to be fed.

The Robin here wasn't doing anything exciting, but I like Robins so here is a video of it.

A Wren foraged in dead leaves at the edge of the Serpentine near the Dell restaurant.

A Crane Fly perched on a grass stem on Buck Hill.

We haven't had a picture of a whale on this blog before, as they are uncommon in the Serpentine. But Tom was at Gravesend, and got a picture of the Beluga which has come up the Thames estuary.

Saturday 29 September 2018

On a sunny Saturday the park was crowded, and there was a big charity walk trundling round the Serpentine. The Grey Heron who normally stands on the south shore retreated into a weeping willow.

While I was taking this picture I heard a Chiffchaff singing unseasonally in the top of the next tree.

One of the young Grey Herons was in the middle of the stream in the Dell, almost out of its depth, unsuccessfully trying to catch a fish.

It came ashore and thought about catching a Moorhen -- which would have been too big to swallow -- but gave up the idea and went for a Common Darter dragonfly.

There were also plenty of Migrant Hawker dragonflies making the most of the warm sunshine. This one was near the Lido.

A pair of Cormorants were not exactly courting, but at least exchanging courtesies, on a basket by the island.

Another once caught a perch under the bridge.

Two of the teenage Great Crested Grebes from the east end of the island were practising their greeting ceremony.

They are still being fed by their parents, but between times they are trying to catch their own fish, so far without much success.

Two Mute Swans were in a nasty mood, and attacked a cygnet.

The young swan in the Italian Garden pool is alone again, so the adult must have left in the way described by Jorgen -- see yesterday's blog post. It knows the way out now, and can leave when it likes.

Both Nuthatches came out of the leaf yard to be fed.

As usual, the shy Coal Tit was hanging around in the background, not daring to come to the fence. We do manage to feed it occasionally, but it never seems to get any bolder.

Friday 28 September 2018

A second Mute Swan, an adult male, has joined the young one in the Italian Garden fountain. They seemed very easy together, and he may be the young one's father.

Jorgen tells me that he has seen a swan getting out of the Italian Garden via the marble fountain. This involved walking up the narrow duckboard out of the pond, lurching down the steps, squeezing through the railings while stepping over the bottom rail, jumping down into the lower basin of the fountain, then jumping again from there into the lake into a gap between the iron gratings below the fountain. No easy task for a swan.

But swans have also been stuck in the fountains for days and have had to be rescued by the Wildlife Officer, so it seems that not all of them can escape in this way.

A Great Crested Grebe at the Lido blatantly ignored the regulations.

Two of the three teenage chicks from the east end of the island were fishing with their father. It's unlikely they caught anything, but it's useful practice.

The shallow water at the shore near Peter Pan is edged with a submerged plank. Today the Coots had it, and were preening in a row, just far enough apart to avoid a fight breaking out.

One of the young Grey Herons moved around the Dell, looking for a fish in the water or a rat on the land.

A pair of Black-Headed Gulls did their 'walking and talking' display.

A Grey Wagtail wandered along the edge of the Serpentine near the outflow, looking for insects under the brambles.

Then it flew into the Dell and waded on the edge of the waterfall.

Starlings ate fruit in the rowan trees on Buck Hill.

A young Wood Pigeon did the same in a whitebeam near the Albert Memorial.

A Robin perched in the holly tree near the bridge.

This bracket fungus is on a plane tree near the Physical Energy statue. I think it's Ganoderma resinaceum, so called because when damaged it exudes a brown sticky resin. You can see an oak leaf stuck to it.

Thursday 27 September 2018

Both the Peregrines were on the barracks tower. The female was preening, and the drifting feather must have come from her.

If they kill a pigeon they will take it up here, and throw the inedible bits over the edge, so there will be more than feathers coming down. I've seen this pair dismantling a pigeon on the Metropole Hilton hotel tower, but not yet here.

It was a quiet day, but not bad for seeing small birds, which have become more visible as autumn sets in. The holly tree at the southwest corner of the bridge is a good place. My quest for pictures of birds among the berries yielded a slightly better picture of a Blue Tit ...

... and a Coal Tit. The two Coal Tits here are quite bold and come to the hand to be fed. This one was visibly annoyed by being photographed instead fed immediately, and darted around squeaking indignantly.

A Dunnock foraged under the tree amid fallen berries.

It also appears briefly in this video, along with a Robin.

A Goldcrest appeared in a yew tree near Peter Pan.

This Long-Tailed Tit was one of a flock on the other side of the lake.

A Carrion Crow gave me a regal stare from an umbrella at the Lido restaurant, where it was waiting in the hope of scavenging leftovers from a table.

A Jackdaw perched on the fence around the old Field Maple tree beside the leaf yard.

A Grey Wagtail paused for a moment on a rock beside the little pool at the top of the Dell waterfall.

On the other side of the pool, a male Common Darter dragonfly sunned himself. Although he wasn't doing anything, it was interesting to see his abdomen flexing in and out as he breathed.

The teenage Mute Swans are beginning to fly. This one foolishly landed in one of the Italian Garden ponds, from which it can't escape.

There is not enough water for its takeoff run, and it's a long and dangerous walk for a swan to the Vista, the nearest place where it could get back into the water. It will be all right, though. There are plenty of algae for it to eat. Swans often get stuck here, and the place is regularly visited by the Wildlife Officer, who grabs them and carries them back to the lake.

Even an indulgent Great Crested Grebe parent can lose patience with pushy chicks. This one at the island got shooed off. They are getting fed quite often enough, and will soon be starting to fish for themselves.

Wednesday 26 September 2018

A few more Shovellers have arrived on the Long Water. This drake is growing his breeding plumage.

A female spun endlessly to stir up food that she could filter out of the water. It makes you dizzy just to look at her.

The line of Cormorants on the posts at Peter Pan was broken only by one of the young Grey Herons.

Sunlight made a rainbow in the spray from the fountain in the Italian Garden as a Moorhen probed the algae for edible bugs.

One the young Great Crested Grebes from the island was silent for once, and dozing peacefully.

The young Lesser Black-Backed Gull begged piteously as its father, the notorious pigeon killer, ignored it and swam away. The young bird is perfectly able to feed itself, but still pretends to be helpless in spite of never getting a result.

The small birds in the leaf yard are noticeably hungrier, and there was a good turnout. Both Nuthatches came down to the fence to take food ...

... and the Coal Tit lurked nervously in the background.

A Wren probed for insects in a hole in a big old oak.

A Pied Wagtail on the north shore of the Serpentine was doing well, catching a crane fly ...

... and what may be a pupa in the space of less than a minute.

There was just one Mistle Thrush in the rowan trees on Buck Hill ...

... but a fair-sized flock of Long-Tailed Tits moving through the trees at the foot of the hill.

A Goldcrest flitted past in a garden square just north of Victoria Gate, which is where the North and West Carriage Drives emerge into the Bayswater Road.