Wednesday 24 July 2019

The Great Crested Grebes nesting under the willow had just swapped places on their nest with four eggs. The incoming bird turned the eggs over to keep them evenly warmed, then settled down. The other went off fishing.

The grebe chick at the island was fed by one parent while the other sat on the new clutch of eggs.

The Coots nesting in the Italian Gardens are briskly chopping down the water lilies for their nest.

The metal fences were put around the water plants to stop Coots from nesting in them and destroying the plants. But you can't stop Coots, and they have simply found another place to nest.

Some of the Mute Swan have now got airborne again after moulting ...

... but most are still flightless, and are chasing each other about on the water. This is a female chasing a male; the males don't have it all their own way.

The five Mallard ducklings on the Long Water are now large enough to be out of danger from gulls.

They were diving vigorously to get food. Their mother had time to preen and scratch and stretch her wings.

The Pochard and her two teenagers appeared at the Vista.

The mate of the pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull was on the roof of the Dell restaurant taking a break from the pigeon she had shared with her mate. But she hadn't finished it yet, and looked down in annoyance ...

... as Carrion Crows started to pick at the carcass.

She flew down and chased them off ...

... and carried on with her lunch.

The crows had a young one with them. When it incautiously ventured too close to the gull, its parent pulled it back to safety.

But the crows did manage to get some cake from the restaurant.

The female Little Owl near the Albert Memorial was on her favourite branch, in a place where she was almost impossible to photograph.

A patch of fragrant lavender in the Rose Garden attracted a crowd of Buff-Tailed Bumblebees, which are the commonest species in the park.

No, it's not Novichok. But full biological hazard gear was needed for dealing with Oak Processionary Moth in a tree near the Queen's Temple.


  1. Ugh. I used to crush processionary moths underfoot when I was little. Couple that with my tendency to eat foxglove flowers and it's nothing short of a miracle that I reached adulthood more or less unscathed.

    I fear that we have a race against time on our hands with that grebe chick.

    1. I wonder whether the irritant hairs of processionary moths would trouble the thick calloused skin of bare feet. Probably not.

      Not hopeful for that grebe chick, which is still very small. The parents have gambled, and it may not pay off.

  2. but I understand inhaling those fine hairs of the moth to be pretty bad.

    1. Memo to self: don't sniff oak trees.

    2. um, I do think they waft about in the air. No need for nose action.

  3. Dunno. I have stomped on them by the dozens, and never suffered any ill consequences... although I have read that they can be dangerous to dogs.