Saturday 1 September 2018

The football was still blocking the entrance to the weir at the outflow to the Serpentine. Adults could get down to feed the chick, but the chick was trapped, since the ball was resting on top of the plank that allows it to climb up. Mateusz at Bluebird Boats kindly took me over in a boat to remove it, and this made it possible to see into the brick chamber at the bottom.

The chick was standing on a lifebelt that had got washed over the weir.

There was also the remains of another chick which had been dead for several days. So there is only one left, but it seems to be doing all right.

The Great Crested Grebe chicks from the nest near the bridge are now fully grown teenagers, and have almost lost the last traces of their juvenile stripes. This one was under the bridge.

They are now as airworthy as a grebe ever is, and one made a short flight low over the water.

The chicks from the east end of the island are much younger, but are already beginning to dive for fish by themselves. They probably aren't catching anything yet, but play fishing develops into real fishing, and the earlier they begin doing this the more likely they are to survive.

The dominant male Mute Swan on the Long Water was in one of his moods, and had gone off to sit it the reeds by himself.

A Grey Heron standing on a chain at Peter Pan managed to keep its balance while reaching out to seize a bit of food. It looks effortless, but it is a feat that few humans could manage.

One of the young herons at the island was in the nest, and the other was on the shore of the island looking for fish.

The Little Owl was back in the oak tree near Bluebird Boats.

The female Kestrel appeared briefly on Buck Hill.

Although it was quite a warm day with plenty of insects around, there was a good turnout of Great Tits at the leaf yard expecting to be fed ...

... and the usual Jackdaw arrived to demand peanuts.

A Treecreeper climbed up the trunk of an oak tree.

Starlings stood in wait at the Lido restaurant looking for scraps to snatch. They found the bottom of a hamburger bun, and then it was every bird for itself.


  1. Mateusz and Ralph once again save the day! Sad news about the other dead chick, unfortunately.

    On the one hand, it's great to see that the Grebe chick is losing its stripes, in that it means it's very probably going to make it to adulthood, but on the other hand, I am sorry to see the pretty stripes go.

    Is that Swan especially sulky, even for a Swan? I always pictured Swans as very morose creatures.

  2. Even by the standards of Mute Swans, that one is particularly moody and savage.

  3. Hello! So happy to see that the grebe teenagers are growing up. My kids want to know whether you go to St James’s Park as well to check on the birds there.
    - A grebe-loving family from California

    1. I only go to St James's Park occasionally. I don't like collections of captive pinioned birds. All the birds in Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park are there because they want to be.

      There are a few pairs of Great Crested Grebes in St James's Park, and at least one of them bred this year. There also used to be quite a few Little Grebes, but the last time I went I couldn't find any.

  4. I unexpectedly came across one of the kestrels at the Round Pond this afternoon. It hunted in the area for quite some time. At one point a crow harassed it but it was having none of it and saw it off, and then carried on swooping to the grass paying no heed to the humans, on one occasion landing within a couple of feet of an oblivious sunbather. I’d probably have been just as oblivious if your blog hadn’t primed me for it. Thanks. Such a thrill.

    1. There's been a Kestrel reported from here before. I think it may be the young one, presumed to be male because of its small size but not yet in male-type plumage. Glad you saw it.

  5. Those poor pinioned birds! We had no idea but now it makes sense why the pelicans have not strayed.
    - CA family