Saturday 8 June 2019

The sixth egg on the Coot nest has hatched, several days later than the others, and there are now six chicks swarming about the nest. There was a strong wind today and the waves were rocking the nest, but not severely enough to endanger this strong construction.

One of the hopelessly sited Coot nests on the edge of the Serpentine has been taken over by a Moorhen, with no greater prospect of success.

One of the young Moorhens at Bluebird Boats explored the landing stage. You can see how they manage to walk without tripping over their enormously long toes, which come together when the foot is off the ground.

The Great Crested Grebes on the Serpentine side of the bridge jealously guard their rich fishing ground in the wire baskets from the pair nesting on the Long Water side of the bridge. When the eggs hatch there are going to be some serious fights for access to the baskets.

The pair of Egyptian Geese on the Round Pond have managed to keep all ten goslings alive, a remarkable achievement. Only eight of them are their own, the other two having been adopted from another pair. The goslings are quite obedient when their mother calls them, the key to survival. Those that wander off by themselves usually get eaten.

Two of the Greylag families on the Serpentine sat peacefully together, one pair with seven goslings, the other with one.

There is a third pair with one older gosling, and that's all so far. None of the Canadas has yet produced a brood.

The Mute Swans on the Long Water were keeping their one cygnet on the little island, here guarded by the male while the female preened in the water.

But I haven't seen the cygnet on the Serpentine for two days, and it may have met the same fate as its two siblings.

At first sight there seemed to be three female Mandarins at Peter Pan with one rather tatty drake. But a closer look showed that one of the three was a drake almost completely in eclipse, with just a few tufts left from his former finery.

Here for comparison is one of the real females.You can see that her feet are a duller colour.

One of the Peregrines was on the barracks tower in the morning, but soon left and didn't come back.

Afternoon sun brought diners on to the tables of the Lido restaurant terrace, and with them Starlings looking for scraps.

The Greenfinch at the Italian Garden was singing in the same tree as on Thursday, a bit lower in the branches because of the strong wind.

A Long-Tailed Tit perched for a moment on a dead twig in the Dell.

One of the Coal Tits at the bridge brought a larva to give to its fledglings.

A Blue Tit took a rest from feeding its young.

Across the path there was what is almost certainly a giant hogweed plant -- I have consulted two knowledgeable people on this, as large umbelliferous plants can be confusing.

It is invasive and poisonous and ought to be removed before it spreads all over the place. When it first appeared last year I warned the gardeners about this, but the cumbersome management hierarchy of the park ensures that nothing happens.


  1. In Spain it is said, if you want something not to be done, hand it over to a committee.

    Lovely curious face on that Blue Tit.

    Very sorry to hear about the poor Cygnet. Why are Canadas unable to have their offspring survive? They are fierce and good parents to boot.

    1. As far as I know, the Canadas have simply not produced any goslings yet. Nobody has seen one.