Sunday 2 September 2018

The young Grey Herons at the island are a boisterous duo. Joan Chatterley sent me these remarkable pictures of them sharing a post ...

... until one of them jumped up and stood on the other's back. The lower heron managed to wriggle free and flew off indignantly.

A Mute Swan washed vigorously on the Round Pond. They really seem to enjoy it.

But the female swan who has three cygnets at the island was having a much less enjoyable time. Virginia saw her being set on by three males and chased behind the railings of one of the boathouses, and bravely climbed round the railings to rescue her from her attackers. This is Virginia's picture, showing two of them.

Later, we saw the victim cruising at the island looking slightly the worse for wear and very angry.

The large Coot nest at the Dell restaurant is no more. Some Greylag Geese were picking it to pieces to eat the algae on the twigs.

With the removal of the football yesterday, the Coots can now get down the plank at the Serpentine outflow to feed their chick under the weir. It could be heard calling.

The mat of algae on the Long Water is so thick that a Tufted Duck had serious difficulty swimming through it. Eventually it managed to reach the clear area around one of the air bubblers that are supposed to oxygenate the lake, and started diving for food.

A Cormorant, much larger and heavier, managed to execute a more or less normal touchdown.

The young Great Crested Grebes at the Serpentine bridge are now catching some fish around the wire baskets, which are full of young perch. I didn't manage to catch a picture of one of them with a successful catch ...

... but their mother was there with them and also catching perch to feed them.

The bridge was built by John Rennie the Younger when the park was remodelled in the 1820s. In design it closely resembles his father John Rennie's London Bridge, which has now been moved to Lake Havasu in Arizona.

The female Kestrel was spotted this morning heading away from Buck Hill after a dispute with the usual troublesome Magpie. Despite revisiting the hill and going to the Round Pond, where a Kestrel has been seen several times recently, we didn't manage to find where she had gone.

Several Mistle Thrushes were eating fruit in the rowan trees on Buck Hill.

There was also a Blue Tit, probably looking for insects ...

... and a Starling, which found one.


  1. Poor female Swan. Was she being harassed like female mallards usually are? Good thing that Virginia was there to save her.

    What happened to the Coots' nest? Did it disintegrate?

    Cormorants cut such gangly, ungainly figures, for a bird.

    1. Yes, it was odd. We are used to Mallard drakes as serial rapists, but it's less usual with Mute Swans.

      I don't know what broke the Coots' nest. It may have been a swan standing on it, as they have done before.