Friday, 24 May 2019

A male Reed Bunting sang his simple song in the reeds near the Diana fountain. A female was seen in this area on 3 May, and it's possible that they are nesting.

A young Great Tit begged for food from its parents by uttering a scratchy call, fluttering its wings and hopping around restlessly.

A young Grey Wagtail could be seen from a distance on the plank bridge at the bottom of the large Dell waterfall. The nest is under the bridge: Grey Wagtails like nesting under shelter near running water.

The female Little Owl near the Albert Memorial was dozing on a branch in her usual oak tree.

This year-old Lesser Black-Backed Gull can usually be seen near the Dell restaurant. This is the pigeon killer's territory, and any other large gull gets chased out at once. Probably this bird is their offpring from last year.

A Great Crested Grebe circled a Coot's nest near the bridge, expecting to find fish lurking around its outskirts. This Coot gets all kinds of unwelcome visitors -- but if it wanted privacy it should have made its nest somewhere else.

After a while the grebe caught one, but continued to hang around the nest.

Two Coot chicks stood on an ornamental rock in the Long Water. With the twin white markings on their front, at a glance they look like Moorhens facing the other way.

The Mute Swan with three cygnets preened near the Lido. When mother preens, the cygnets do too.

The single cygnet on the Long Water was in the nest with its parents.

The three Mallard ducklings were still at Peter Pan.

A pair of Greylags on the Serpentine have at least two brand new goslings. There may be more under the mother's wings.

The eldest Egyptian gosling on the Serpentine has now lost almost all its juvenile down and looks like a small adult. Its flight feathers are just beginning to come out. The new feathers need careful maintenance.

Two younger ones sprawled inelegantly on the edge. Their legs are too long for their body, and it's uncomfortable keeping them folded up for long.

Sadly, two other Egyptian goslings are showing the first sign of 'angel wing'. This deformity was much more common when the first Egyptians arrived here, but the affected birds, unable to fly, soon died without breeding. It now appears only occasionally.

A Small White butterfly perched on a daisy near the Queen's Temple.

This Blue-Tailed Damselfly was in the Dell.

The picture shows how a damselfly is able to fold its wings, which a dragonfly can't do. The double row of hinges for the wings, two per wing, is tilted backwards. In a dragonfly the row is horizontal. The useful modification comes at a price, as dragonflies are much stronger flyers.


  1. Pigeon Eater's children have the same fearsome disposition as their father, it seems. Perhaps the technique is still lacking, but doubtles the will is there.

    Great video of the Reed Bunting!

    1. I do wish YouTube wouldn't pixellate the first 15 seconds of any video so badly. Apparently this is caused by buffering. I could use Vimeo instead, which does not ruin one's careful work, but to do that I would have to write the embed code for each video by hand, a tiresome chore.