Thursday 1 August 2019

A Tufted Duck with seven ducklings appeared unexpectedly at Peter Pan.

She got too close to the Coot whose nest is in the background, and was chased off. The ducklings instinctively dived and emerged unharmed.

The single Tufted duckling on the Serpentine has survived another day.

There is a new brood of three Mallard ducklings on the Serpentine.

But it was bad news for the Great Crested Grebes under the willow near the bridge, who have lost all their eggs in some unexplained disaster. There is no sign of broken eggs in the nest. Perhaps an agile fox climbed along a branch and took them.

However, the nest at the east end of the island is still going strong, and here is a close-up view. This video was shot from a boat, thanks to Mateusz at Bluebird Boats who took me out to the island. We got a bit too close and the grebe left the nest, but she soon decided we were harmless and came back and settled down.

Incidentally, this is the grebe that Mateusz rescued when she got trapped in the basket a few months ago.

One of the teenage grebes on the Serpentine preened its shining white underside.

A Moorhen made itself comfortable in a patch of weeds beside one of the small boathouses.

A Magpie washed in a puddle.

The young Blackbirds have stopped begging for food from their parents and are now looking for food by themselves. This one was on the lawn to the east of the Dell.

A sibling was in a yew tree on the corner of the Dell.

Three Greenfinches hopped around in a holly tree between Peter Pan and the Italian Garden. The one in the middle is young, so they have bred here.

The familiar Coal Tit at the bridge nibbled delicately at a pine nut I gave her. Their preferred habitat is pine trees, and the seeds are one of their favourite foods.

The perfect wildflower to attract a Honeybee: mauve and probably brightly ultraviolet, with guide lines so that the bee can make a perfect touchdown in the centre.

Mark Williams got a good picture of a Reed Warbler on the netting surrounding a reed bed ...

... and, in St James's Park, a Banded Demoiselle.


  1. She doesn't seem to be too terribly alarmed by the approaching boat. Perhaps she remembers Mateusz's help? Incidentally, we are so lucky that we get to see such great close-ups thanks to Bluebird Boats.

    This is a good year for Tufted Ducks, isn't it? Quite a lot of families.

    The colours in the last picture are nothing short of breathtaking.

    1. I'm very grateful for Mateusz' constant help.

      We had three broods of Tufted Ducklings last year of which some certainly survived -- an unknown number, as they start looking like adult females.

      We get Banded Demoiselles here occasionally -- see the blog post for 18 July 2015.

  2. The Banded Demoiselle is a very good record for St. James Park!

    1. They're slightly commoner in Hyde Park. I've seen four over the years, always near the northeast corner of the bridge.