Tuesday 23 April 2019

The female Mallard is part of a trio with a Red-Crested Pochard drake and a Mallard drake, and the RCP seems to be the dominant partner. They are often seen in the fountains in the Italian Garden. She now has ducklings, and the question is, Who's the father? They don't look at all like RCP ducklings, which are plain coloured without a pattern. But, as you will see, the RCP drake certainly thinks she's his mate.

The eldest of the surviving Egyptian goslings is now probably large enough to be out of danger from gulls, and was grazing at the Lido protected by its mother (until she forgets what she's doing, as Egyptians regrettably tend to).

One of the two families with three goslings. When the mother preens, the goslings do too.

One of the Bar-Headed--Greylag Goose hybrids had flown in from St James's Park.

The Mute Swans' nest in the middle of the island can just be seen through the trees.

The pair on the southwest corner of the island seem well settled, to judge by the amount of branches they have collected for their nest.

The future of the nest beside the boathouse remains uncertain, and not only because it's in an unsafe place. Today the pair seemed quite committed to it. But the old hat that was part of the nest furniture has fallen out of favour and been cast adrift, and was floating sadly next to a dead fish.

This is Mateusz' picture from yesterday of the Great Crested Grebe he rescued when it was stuck in one of the derelict wire baskets on the island. But it turns out to be not a chick as thought -- it's an adult female, evidently one of the pair that were nesting in a bush behind the line of baskets.

The grebe with a solitary chick on the Long Water took no notice as passing Mute Swans towered over them. If one of the swans decided to peck at them, they would both disappear under water faster than the eye can see.

The two young Grey Herons were down from the nest and standing on one of the wire baskets which is drifting around near the island.

An adult scratched itself on the roof of one of the boathouses.

This is the first time I've seen two herons in the nest on the southeast corner of the island. They both look only a year old, but seem to be nesting seriously.

The female Little Owl was in the oak tree nest to her nest tree.

The pair's old hole had a Stock Dove sitting above it. They are well quit of this place -- it was in constant contention with Stock Doves, squirrels, Jackdaws and even Mallards, and the roof leaked.

One of the Mistle Thrushes nesting near the Serpentine Gallery rattled furiously at a Magpie and a Carrion Crow that had come too close to its nest.

An intrepid Woodlouse crossed the path above the Dell. It made it to the other side without being eaten or trodden on.


  1. That was the Woodlouse's lucky day, it seems.

    How did the Grebe get herself in that pickle, I wonder?

    How old is the Grebe chick? It looks quite larger than it should be if it was just hatched.

    1. The wire baskets around the island, which were supposed to create a ring of water plants but failed because of lack of attention, are now falling to bits and have become a deathtrap for water birds that get in through gaps and can't find their way out. I have written to Hugh Smith about this, and he will do his best to get them removed. The island, which is a bit tatty generally, is due for renovation and he will try to get overhanging bushes planted around the edge to provide proper nesting sites.

      That grebe chick must be well over a week old. If you can't keep a close eye on the nest, you only notice the chicks when their calls get loud enough to hear across the lake.