Saturday 27 July 2019

Moorhens love climbing, and the moored boats provide a perfect adventure playground for them. This pair has recently bred, and the soggy cardboard assembled in the bow of the rowing boat is a secondary nest, a convenient place to rest during the day.

There are two new Moorhen chicks in one of the fountains in the Italian Garden.

They wave their little featherless wings frantically when begging to be fed.

The two teenage Great Crested Grebes are staying by the moored pedalos, where fish shelter in the mistaken belief that they are safe there.

We haven't had a picture of either of the two Mute Swan cygnets recently. This is the one on the Long Water, sole survivor of a brood of three but now growing well. They cruised past one of the two Great Crested Grebe chicks and a parent.

The Mallard mother shepherded her five ducklings on to the willow branch which is their usual resting place, but they had to leave when threatened by a Coot.

The two ducklings at Peter Pan were under the watchful eye of their mother. Both these female Mallards are unusually attentive, and have been rewarded by keeping at least some of their young.

The little adopted Egyptian gosling rested comfortably beside its larger step-sibling, now beginning to sprout adult ginger feathers.

This three-year-old Lesser Black-Backed Gull is still young enough to play with toys. I think the object is a chicken bone salvaged from a bin.

The mating season is long over, but Black-Headed Gull pairs often stay together and reinforce their bond with ritual posing and strutting and moaning.

A Grey Heron stood in one of the plane trees near the small boathouses, peering into a Starling's nest hole and muttering darkly to itself. The young Starlings have long gone, and I don't know what was attracting its attention.

A dozen House Martins hunted insects over the plane trees near the Kuwaiti embassy where they nest. Although there were only three nests on the building this year, these have evidently produced some young.

No Little Owls were visible, as usual on a drizzly day, but while I was looking for them the usual Great Tit came out on a twig and called for food.

A Long-Tailed Tit picked up grit on the wet path.

So did a Robin.


  1. I love the pictures of the small birds against the wet path. There is beauty eeverywhere if one knows how to find it.

    Do the birds that come to your hand call to you when they see you?

    There is something oddly exhilarating in the thought that man-made objects serve as a playground for Moorhens.

    1. Yes, the birds do call to get attention -- a discreet tweet from Great and Blue Tits, a burble from a Jay, and a loud yell from a Carrion Crow.