Sunday 30 June 2019

One of the Great Crested Grebes from the nest on the fallen poplar tree in the Long Water carried the two chicks, while the other one brought a small fish.

The Coots at Peter Pan are already down to their last chick.

Another scene of repeated failure and dogged persistence, the nest at the Serpentine outflow. The pair are now on their third attempt. Well, they did manage to raise one chick last year, so it isn't quite as futile as the nest on the post.

The two Pochard ducklings on the Long Water have survived another day. The family was retreating from an irresponsible dog owner who was throwing sticks into the lake for his pet to retrieve.

The Egyptian Geese with seven goslings were still near the small boathouse whose railings give them protection from dogs and children.

The Mute Swan cygnet on the Serpentine and its mother cruised by.

(You can see the one on the Long Water in the grebe video above.)

The young Grey Heron that lives in the Dell prowled around in the little stream looking for a fish.

There was a loud clattering sound of the heron chick begging in the new nest on the island.

Quite a lot of Black-Headed Gulls have now returned from their breeding grounds. It looks as if these have all been unsuccessful, and this year's young birds will arrive later.

The Little Owl near the Albert Memorial enjoyed the sunshine in her customary oak tree.

The usual Blackbird flew into the Italian Garden for his daily treat of sultanas.

This very young Great Tit was on the steps of the basement area of the house next to my flat. It had flown across from a nest on the other side of the street, and was cheeping miserably. The gate was locked and I couldn't catch it to bring it back. However, when I arrived there had been two of them here, and the other one flew back home. I hope this one managed too.

A Red Admiral butterfly perched on a leaf beside the Long Water.

I also saw two Marbled Whites near the Serpentine Gallery, but couldn't get a picture of either. Maybe tomorrow.

Female Common Blue Damselflies come in two colours, greenish-grey ...

... and the same blue as the male. She is on the right in this picture. Note the 'Christmas tree' marking on the second-last long segment of the abdomen.

A Greenbottle fly shone in the sunlight.

There was a service of remembrance at the Bomber Command memorial in Piccadilly, and a Lancaster circled several times.

Saturday 29 June 2019

On a hot day, a Carrion Crow in one of the old chestnut trees was panting to keep cool.

So was a Magpie on Buck Hill ...

.. and another in the now disused Grey Herons' nest on the island.

A Cormorant on a post at Peter Pan cooled itself by vibrating its throat in the peculiar way that Cormorants have.

The birds have almost completely stopped singing. Even the Robins, which sing at most times of the year, are silent for the moment. A couple of Reed Warblers uttered a few phrases, and so did this Blackcap in a chestnut.

A Blackbird beside the Long Water was alarmed by a Magpie above her in the tree. When I went past again an hour later, the Magpie was still there and the Blackbird was still uttering her alarm call.

The Great Crested Grebes from the nest under the fallen poplar have two chicks. Each parent was carrying one.

The Coots from the nest on the post at Peter Pan have three chicks, which they had sensibly moved to a sheltered place under a bush.

The Mallard here has four surviving ducklings, the same number as yesterday.

The park was very crowded, and the only goslings to be seen on the Serpentine were these seven little Egyptians taking refuge behind the railings of one of the small boathouses.

I hope they aren't the same brood as the one that numbered 14 yesterday.

More Red-Crested Pochards have arrived on the Long Water and there are seven now, all drakes.

The heat didn't discourage a pair of Mute Swans from mating on the Serpentine.

A Black-Tailed Skimmer dragonfly rested on a reed near the Italian Garden.

The patch of British wildflowers in the Rose Garden is not very wild, as it's re-sown every year, but it's pretty.

Friday 28 June 2019

A pair of Egyptian Geese on the Serpentine have a remarkable brood of fourteen goslings. They took them begging along the terrace of the Lido restaurant.

On the other side of the lake a lost Egyptian gosling was wandering around by itself. The parents were nowhere to be seen. This happens all to often with Egyptians, and the only way they compensate for their careless parenting is by being hugely prolific.

The Pochard with two ducklings hadn't been seen for three days, and we feared that she had lost them. But today the family turned up at the Vista.

A Mallard bought a new brood of seven ducklings to the shallow water at Peter Pan.

A Coot dived to feed its chicks. They don't do this elegantly.

This pair of Moorhens can always be found in the same place on the south side of the Serpentine. Although they are inseparable, they never seem to find a place to nest.

You never know whether there are going to be a hundred Herring Gulls on the lake or a mere half dozen. Today there were plenty, squabbling over scraps.

The Henry Moore sculpture is much improved by a Grey Heron sitting on it.

A Carrion Crow on the gravel bank below it couldn't resist having a go at a heron that was looking the other way.

A crow dunked a Cheesy Wotsit in the Serpentine.

A young Magpie in the Rose Garden pestered its parent, which was sunbathing and couldn't be bothered to go and find food for it.

The young bird gave up and sunbathed too.

The Little Owl near the Albert Memorial came out on a branch, but stayed in the shade.

Two Sand Martins chased each other over the Round Pond for several minutes, calling. It may have been a juvenile chasing a parent.

A Black-Tailed Skimmer dragonfly basked on a warm granite kerbstone.

Thursday 27 June 2019

A Grey Heron was standing on the edge of the new nest, looking down at the recently hatched chick. In this picture you can just see it as a vague grey areas at the bottom left.

In this brief video clip you can see it looking out of the nest for a moment.

The young heron that lives in the Dell looked hungrily at a Moorhen.

I once saw a heron catch one and try to swallow it whole. Despite its best efforts it was unsuccessful.

A Carrion Crow saw me coming and called its friends over to beg for peanuts.

One dunked a couple of peanuts in the lake. They don't like their food dry, and will even dunk quite moist scraps to make them more palatable.

The Little Owl near the Albert Memorial was again in an almost unphotographable place, but I got a mediocre picture of her preening.

There were a dozen Sand Martins over the Round Pond, as well as a few House Martins and Swifts.

A young Starling at the Lido restaurant called for attention from its parents.

The Mute Swan cygnet on the Serpentine preened its downy feathers.

This Egyptian Goose has very nearly finished regrowing its wing feathers after moulting. Only a little of the blue wrapping around its new feathers remains, to be removed by preening.

There was a Common Blue Damselfly in the wildflower patch in the Rose Garden ...

... and a Red-Eyed Damselfly on a patch of algae in one of the Italian Garden pools. Both these and the later appearing Small Red-Eyed Damselflies always favour the south end of the northeast pool.

Tom was at Rainham, and took this picture of a juvenile Peregrine flying over the marsh.

He also got this excellent shot of a Whitethroat picking up a caterpilar ...

... and video of the same bird.

Wednesday 26 June 2019

The Great Crested Grebes nesting on the fallen poplar on the Long Water have hatched a new chick. There may be more under the parents' wings.

The Coots nesting on a post near Peter Pan have also produced another chick. Sadly, as soon as their attention wanders it will be snatched by one of the Lesser Black-Backed Gulls that regularly perch on these posts, as happened to the previous brood.

A Moorhen in one of the Italian Garden ponds was trying to pick off a bit of iris leaf, a sign that the pair is nesting again after losing their first brood.

The Egyptian Geese with a new family at the island have done well to keep seven goslings for several days. They tend to wander off and their mother has to follow them, calling.

The Grey Heron with a broken beak seems to be a parent. Over the last few days I've often seen it on this nest on the island, from which the sound of a chick begging can sometimes be heard.

A Cormorant fishing under the mat of algae at the north end of the Long Water caught a perch, and with it a beakful of algae that it had to spit out before it could swallow the fish.

There was a sight of a Little Owl in the oak near the Albert Memorial.

A Sparrowhawk whizzed over the bridge and I got a hasty shot of it.

There was a glimpse of a Reed Warbler in the reed bed under the bridge.

A Blackbird near the Dell picked up a lot of worms in a remarkably short time before flying off to feed his nestlings. Evidently he had pulled them up previously and was simply collecting them.

There are several Feral Pigeons with Rorschach Test inkblots on their back. Maybe they are siblings.

The borage flowers in the wildflower patch behind the Lido attracted Buff-Tailed Bumblebees and Honeybees. There was also a Blue-Tailed Damselfly minding its own business on a leaf.

There are a lot of Meadow Brown butterflies. It's always the commonest species in the park, appearing later than the others.

I have no idea what this exotic fruit is. I saw it in Ansdell Street near Kensington Square.

Update: our readers always know -- thank you, Amerikano1. It's a loquat tree. I now remember that when I was little and my diplomat father was posted to Israel, we had one of these in the garden. But as soon as the fruit ripened, someone always climbed the wall and stole the lot, so I have never tasted a loquat.