Wednesday 17 July 2019

The Mallard on the Long Water with five ducklings appeared on the waterfront at Peter Pan but, finding no one feeding the ducks ...

... she took them to rest on the fallen willow near the Italian Garden. There are large pike in the lake, which gladly eat ducklings, and perhaps she realises this.

The Pochard and her two ducklings were at the Vista.

The Great Crested Grebes with two chicks were across the lake. A parent arrived with a fish.

Ahmet Amerikali went back to Southwark Park to check on the two Little Grebe chicks. They are now fishing for themselves -- Little Grebes grow up much faster than Great Crested Grebes -- and it looks as if their parents are going to nest again.

The Canada goslings there are down to five, but they are now almost adult size.

The mystery remains of why the Canadas in Hyde Park, Regent's Park and St James's park have failed to breed this year. It isn't human interference with their eggs -- there simply were none.

The pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull had eaten his fill of his latest kill, and stood in his favourite place on the roof of the Dell restaurant while his mate ate the rest.

The Black-Headed Gulls have arrived in earnest, and there was an unbroken line of them across the Long Water at Peter Pan.

The Little Owl near the Albert Memorial was in exactly the place as yesterday.

In the reed bed near the Diana fountain there was a sound of Reed Warbler chicks begging, and a parent flew in with an insect.

The young Great Tits near the Henry Moore sculpture were also making themselves heard ...

... but their parents thought they had had enough, and when I gave the adults pine nuts they ate them themselves.

Below them, a Speckled Wood butterfly perched on a leaf.

Black-Tailed Skimmer dragonflies mated on the edge of the Serpentine.

As soon as they had finished, the female flew off and started laying eggs in the water at the edge of the lake, placing one every few inches.

The tall thistles beside the Long Water attract all kinds of bees, including this Buff-Tailed Bumblebee and Common Carder Bumblebee. It takes a while for a bee to work its way over a thistle flower, making them easy to film.


  1. Absolutely love watching the flying teddy bears.

    Isn't that Mallard mother particularly attentive? She seems to me more intelligent or aware than average.

    1. Yes, that was my impression too about that Mallard. She will be rewarded with more offspring. But curiously, the passing on of the genes for intelligence has not resulted in a race of super-Mallards who play chess and argue about the philosophy of Platyrhynchos.

    2. Would we want them to? The only thing standing between a Mallard and world domination is that they aren't very clever.

    3. I would rather be ruled by ducks than politicians.

  2. And the thought of Anessamander, surely?

    (I thought Platyrhynchos was where those papyri turned up... fragments of the plays of Merganser, for example...)

  3. I bow to the both of you, good sirs.