Thursday 15 August 2019

At least four Mistle Thrushes were visiting the rowan trees on Buck Hill. It seems too early for the arrival of the autumn migrants. Maybe they were a family that had bred in the park.

There were also half a dozen Blackbirds. These spend most of their time in a nearby hawthorn tree, or in the hawthorn hedge.

A Starling chattered on the knob of one of the umbrellas at the Lido restaurant, waiting to grab scraps off a table.

The male Little Owl neat the Albert Memorial appeared in the afternoon.

The single Great Crested Grebe chick at the island demanded food.

Its mother went out to fish for it. The grebes here are having to work quite hard to find fish ...

... unlike the ones on the Long Water, which can catch as much as they want quickly and easily. However, the father of the two elder chicks here decided that they had had enough for the time being, and started washing and preening.

All was quiet on the nest under the willow.

The Moorhens in the fountain are down to one chick from the last brood, and are nesting again for the fourth time this year. The nest is inside a planter, safely behind the netting and well hidden.

Two of the Moorhen chicks at the bridge stood on a twig sticking out of one of the wire baskets.

The fourth Tufted duckling struggled to join three others on the fallen branch in the Long Water that is now their usual perch. The fifth was out on the open water, feeding.

The Mallard on the Serpentine with three ducklings parked them inside one of the wire baskets, a safe place and there are algae to eat. They are still small enough to squeeze through the mesh.

There was a Gadwall on the Long Water, the first seen here for some time.

Two female Mandarins could be seen on the fallen poplar at the Vista. They are much better at climbing on branches than other ducks, as they need to be because they nest in tree holes.


  1. I love the markings on the Gadwall feathers. So unobstrusively elegant.

    That Mallard mother is definitely very intelligent. That is the perfect spot to keep the chicks well fed and safe. It looks like all mother ducks seen during this month are quite clever.

    Watching the duckling's struggles, I am reminded of my grandmother's heartfelt sight of commiseration because birds had no hands. They have wings, I'd say to her. But she insisted hands came in more handy.

  2. When you watch the ubiquitous Rose-Ringed Parakeets you realise that they have very capable hands, or rather feet, though they can only use one at a time when standing on the other. Their X-shaped feet -- two fingers and two thumbs -- can grasp any small object securely and precisely.