Sunday 16 September 2018

The Moorhens in the Italian Garden fountain raised two young ones from their first brood, but lost all the second. So they have had another, very late in the year. Virginia found a chick yesterday and sent me this picture.

I went to investigate this morning and found two chicks.

A Moorhen teenager stretched its wings beside the Serpentine. It's been a good breeding year for them, and young birds are everywhere.

One of the three young Great Crested Grebes from the island was having a tentative look to see if there were any fish, but at soon as a parent came in sight it started begging. When the parent dived, the young one followed it. This is how they learn to fish.

Another was by itself, exploring around a moored inflatable boat.

It was picking up insect larvae from the surface.

The pigeon-killing Lesser Black-Backed Gull is really having a very easy time now. He had killed two pigeons for the third day running, and was sitting out in the lake digesting his heavy meal, unworried by a young gull which was finishing off his second kill. If he had not been so full he would have chased it away.

Another fine picture from Virginia: a pair of Cormorants courting in a tree.

I would have liked to have seen how they managed to land on the thin branch with their clumsy webbed feet and none too precise slow flight.

One of the young Grey Herons was on the netted raft in the Long Water where a pair of Coots made an a unsuccessful nest. It was picking vigorously at the netting, probably for insects in the debris left by the Coots.

Virginia sent this beautiful picture of the heron in the Dell walking along the edge of the little stream.

A Carrion Crow joined the usual Starlings waiting on the umbrellas at the Lido restaurant for a table to be free so that they could raid the leftovers.

A pair of Dunnocks hopped around in the shrubbery at the southwest corner of the bridge.

The holly trees there have ripe berries. A Long-Tailed Tit perched on a twig.

The annual farm show was taking place on Buck Hill, including this elegant donkey.


  1. Will the Moorhen chicks survive this late in the year? I hear that the weather is still quite mild over there.

    Will the Grebe parents stop feeding their chicks once they begin getting their crests?

    Pigeon killer is in rare form of late.

    1. It's still quite warm. I think the chicks stand a good chance.

      The grebe chicks will be fed for a bit longer. Maybe losing their juvenile stripes is the cue for kicking them out.