Friday 7 June 2019

It was a wet morning, but Blackbirds don't mind getting wet, and sing cheerfully in the rain which brings up plenty of worms for them to eat.

Raindrops bounced off one of the young Pied Wagtails at the east end of the Serpentine.

Nearby, a young Magpie chased a parent, begging to be fed. It looks old enough to find its own bugs and worms.

A young Blue Tit waited for its parent to find it an insect. Its immaculate new feathers make a strong contrast to those of the adult, bedraggled by nesting and rain.

A female Chaffinch sometimes appears in the leaf yard. She doesn't seem to have a mate.

A young Robin came out from the bushes near the bridge.

It's odd that one Grey Heron can look absolutely soaked ...

... while another, which has been standing in the rain for just as long, remains dry.

Not surprisingly there were no customers for the boats. The Bluebird Boats staff tried to keep the Herring Gulls from covering the pedalos with droppings. This loudhailer has a recording of a Herring Gull's distress call. It's moderately effective at first, but the intelligent birds soon realise that they're being fooled.

The Coot nesting at the Dell restaurant kept the chicks dry and warm under its wing.

The pair at the outflow, after many weeks of nest building and the complete demolition of their first nest by a storm, have finally managed to produce one egg.

One of the Little Grebes on the Long Water was fishing next to the Mute Swans' island.

The swans under the willow tree are sticking obstinately to the Coot nest they have taken over. I don't think they can actually nest here, as there isn't a wide enough platform. Nor can they build it up, not having the construction skills of Coots.

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

The cabbage palms in the Rose Garden are flowering. These flowers will develop into small berries which are liked by Mistle Thrushes and Wood Pigeons, so this New Zealand tree has fitted well into the local ecosystem.

The gardeners were going to remove the palms and replace them with miniature banana plants, but the palms were reprieved because a Wren is nesting in one of them, so the bananas are going into the other end of the flower beds. I don't think they will produce any fruit in the English climate, but we shall see.

The 2019 pavilion at the Serpentine Gallery is going up.

This picture was taken by holding the camera at arms' length over the fence of the construction site. Designed by Junya Ishigami, it consists of tons of thick rough slates supported by wire mesh and worryingly slender steel poles. I would be afraid to go in, but perhaps that's the point. No doubt it's been made quite strong enough, after the incident of the 2016 pavilion made of fibreglass boxes which nearly collapsed under its own weight.


  1. So many young people (er, birds) today! I particularly love the fine detail of the raindrops bouncing off the young wagtail.

    I'm feeling nostalgic hearing the Blackbird's sweet song. Ours have grown silent.

    I've reached the conclusion that I don't understand modern architecture.

    1. The Serpentine pavilions are always commissioned from architects who have never had a building in Britain, and all too often you can see why. Very occasionally we get something wonderful. The only other Serpentine pavilion by a Japanese architect, Toyo Ito in 2002, was easily the best of the series, and it was exhilarating to be inside it. Uniquely, it had no foundations but sat humbly on the ground as a temporary building should. Pictures here.