Sunday, 26 May 2019

A Starling foraged in the grass in the Diana fountain enclosure.

A large number of them have brought their new families to this fenced area, where they won't be disturbed by dogs. The grass provides worms and insects to feed the young, and the terrace of the Lido restaurant is just over the railings, where they can pick up leftover food.

Sometimes there are more than a hundred Herring Gulls on the Serpentine. They breed nearby in Paddington and the population is rising steeply, which is why most of them are young.

Grey Herons are normally very shy birds, but the ones in the park have become so accustomed to humans that they calmly wander among the weekend visitors.

The Great Crested Grebes from the west end of the island seem to have abandoned their second nesting attempt, and were consoling each other in the water nearby. They will probably try again later, with a better chance of success as the number of small fish increases.

The Coot from the nest on the posts at Peter Pan stood defensively over the last surviving chick. The nest was damaged by the attack which took the other two, and is much reduced in size.

A Coot is still trying to build a nest on the edge of the Serpentine near the small boathouses. This nest in an exposed place doesn't have a chance of success, but the Coot keeps doggedly on.

Another Coot is trying to build a nest inside one of the planters in the Italian Garden fountains. It's a most inconvenient place for them, as they have to fly in and out -- though newly hatched chicks are small enough to get through the plastic mesh  under the tubular rails. Moorhens can nest here much more easily because they can climb up the mesh.

This depression at the edge of the Serpentine where the tarmac has subsided is a favourite sitting place for a Moorhen.

The female Mute Swan nesting on the Long Water gazed solicitously at her one surviving cygnet.

But every time she leaves the nest she gets chased by an angry Coot from the nest next to hers.

The three cygnets on the Serpentine were in their usual place in the shelter of a reed bed.

While the two Greylag goslings grazed with their mother, the gander kept a sharp eye out for approaching dogs. Shortly after I took this picture, an idiot with a Rottweiler let it run along the shore, scattering all the geese.

This group of four Red-Crested Pochard drakes and a female often come to the Serpentine from one of the other parks. In most species of duck there is a considerable excess of males, because females are often killed by predators while nesting, and so groups form with several males around one female.

Compared to the ridiculously showy drakes, female Mandarins are models of understated elegance.

Here is a very pleasing picture of a Wren by Ahmet Amerikali.


  1. Look at the Coot going after a Swan. If I didn't see it, I wouldn¡t believe it.

    Poor Grebes look so sad. Let us hope they will console themselves soon and try again.

    1. That's by no means the only Coot I've seen attacking a Mute Swan. I think they would attack a hippopotamus if their paths crossed.