Friday 5 July 2019

There seems to be only one Great Crested Grebe chick from the nest on the wire baskets at the island, though you can never be sure when they are small and can hide under their parents' wings.

When the other parent arrived with a small fish, the chick had evidently gone to sleep in its comfortable cradle, and didn't take it.

The three chicks on the Long Water are older and larger, and easier to see.

A nest on the dead willow near the Italian Garden is disputed between a Great Crested Grebe ...

... and a Coot.

A grebe can always win a fight, but generally the Coots win the war by sheer dogged persistence.

The pair nesting on the post near Peter Pan refuse to give up after two failures. They were trying to add a large twig to their nest in preparation for laying a third clutch of eggs.

The four teenage Coots still using the nest at the Lido restaurant are beginning to break it down. A parent hurried up with some new lining material.

A Moorhen admired its reflection in the shiny plastic surface of a pedalo.

While geese are moulting and can't fly, they have a tendency to rush around flapping their useless wings, perhaps to keep their flight muscles in good order. This is the family on the Serpentine, and one of the young ones joins in.

They enjoyed a vigorous washing session, including turning upside down and diving.

The Mallard on the Long Water has managed to keep her six ducklings by herding them well to the edge of the water and spending most of the time underneath bushes.

The two ducklings near the bridge are still all right.

One of the Grey Heron chicks on the new nest flapped its little wings.

A Starling on the edge of the Serpentine picked up small larvae to feed its insistent young.

A young Long-Tailed Tit on a twig waited to be fed.

The Red-Eyed Damselflies on the algae in the Italian Garden have been succeeded by the later arriving Small Red-Eyed Damselflies. Both are small and they are hard to tell apart, but David Element has put me right on this.

A female Emperor Dragonfly laid eggs on another patch of algae.

Two Buff-Tailed Bumblebees arrived on a hollyhock flower at the same time, and one had to wait.


  1. There can never be too many pictures of Grebes carrying its chicks. The world is a better place for it.

    "Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the prettiest Moorhen of all?"

    I'm exhausted just from seeing the young Starlings pursuing its parent. Being a bird is not for the weak.

    1. It really is time those young Starlings grew up and started stealing chips from people's plates on the restaurant terraces as grown-up birds should. But as long as their parents feed them they will go on begging.

  2. The random voices in the background of the videos are often amusing to me: sometimes I understand them, often not, but they always add a pleasingly surreal quality to them. Or in fact not surreal at all: Ken Garden / Hyde Park being so very multi-national. Good sound pick-up on your recorder.

    1. People sometimes comment that they can hear Cantonese or Hindi or some such in the background. Fewer than half of the people I overhear in the park are speaking English, and it's fun to try to identify the language.

  3. Ralph, your excellent photo shows a male Small Red-eyed Damselfly rather than Red-eyed. The photo shows blue sides to segments to segments 2 + 8 on the abdomen which are black in Red-eyed. There is also a a black marking on the dorsal surface of the last segment. In life these are smaller than Red-eyed + the eyes of the male are generally more of a tomato red rather than deep burgundy of Red-eyed when mature.

    I couldn't see them so critically in the video, but assume now this species. First record of small Red-eyed this year for me.

    1. Thanks. I'd already corrected this after a note from David Element. Hadn't expected the species to change so seamlessly, and forgot to check. Must do something about the video too. By the way, there was only one left this morning.