Wednesday, 8 May 2019

The Coots' nest at the bridge is hatching out and there are two chicks so far, protected from today's rain by the plastic bag added to the nest -- though I don't think the Coot was deliberately thinking of making an umbrella.

The nest precariously balanced on the plastic buoys at the Lido now has one egg on it. I've never known a nest here to succeed, but there's always a first time.

The pair of Great Crested Grebes from the east end of the island were displaying on the outer edge of the ring of wire baskets, and I think I can see a bit of a nest just to the left of them.

The grebes under the willow near the bridge now have three eggs.

The solitary chick on the Long Water sheltered with a parent during a heavy shower.

The top of the Dell waterfall is a favourite place for many kinds of birds, which come to drink and bathe and preen here. They seem to like the sensation of water running over their feet. This pair of Mallards visits regularly.

An odd postscript to yesterday's video of a female Mallard escaping a drake's attempt to mate, filmed by Neil on the same day. This time the Mallard drake got her, but a Tufted drake was so carried away by enthusiasm that he climbed on top of the drake.

A female Gadwall looked quietly elegant on the Serpentine.

A Grey Heron had got very wet indeed.

One of the Reed Warblers near the Diana fountain obligingly climbed into view.

A pair of Carrion Crows examined the gutter of the Lido restaurant.

A Magpie trotted through the wet grass near the Albert Memorial.

Rain brings up worms and provides a feast for thrushes of all kinds. This rather soggy Mistle Thrush was next to the Dell ...

... but a Robin in the Rose Garden was even more bedraggled when it came out hoping to be fed. Some sunflower seeds helped to keep it warm.

This Robin, also in the Rose Garden, was carrying a caterpillar to its nest.

A Dunnock sang in the rain on the east side of the Long Water.

A Greenfinch perched in a holly tree on the other side.

There was an Imperial College graduation ceremony at the Albert Hall, and as usual the old lorries were on display. The 1926 Morris Commercial Type T one-ton truck belongs to the Royal School of Mines and is called Clementine. Imperial College owns the 1916 N Type Dennis fire engine, whose 60 hp pump still works.


  1. Some drakes are pathetic. Poor mother duck.

    And poor Robin, it looks so unhappy and soggy. Thankfully Ralph's kind offices will set it to right again.

    I wouldn't put it past Coots to engineer a covering system against rain.

    1. I think that however wet and chilled a bird looks, a bit of food will set it to rights. Their fierce metabolisms are like little furnaces, and have to be constantly stoked.