Sunday 25 August 2019

The Great Crested Grebes from the nest on the east end of the island have three chicks, not two as I thought.

The people at Bluebird Boats kindly took me out for a close look, and I got the picture above.

The grebes fed a fish to one of their chicks, but a Black-Headed Gull tried to snatch it. I couldn't see which of them got the fish in the end.

At the other end of the island, the single new chick is about the same age as the others.

Its older sibling was out of sight but could be heard behind the basket.

The teenage grebes on the Long Water can now catch crayfish for themselves.

The grebe looked unfavourably at a Black-Headed Gull which was aiming to snatch the next crayfish.

It was clearly doing well, because Ahmet Amerikali, passing the spot at a different time, got a picture of another crayfish about to be swallowed.

Being able to feed themselves has not stopped them from chasing their parents, begging loudly.

Another fine picture by Ahmet of an adult and a juvenile Moorhen fighting.

A Grey Heron and a couple of Cormorants were uneasy companions on the disused tern raft.

The dominant female Mute Swan had to stop while a procession of Tufted Ducks crossed in front of her.

Starlings waited in a hawthorn tree on the Dell restaurant terrace for a chance to snatch scraps.

Two Feral Pigeons sunbathed in the grass on Buck Hill.

The Mistle Thrushes had come down from the rowan trees for the time being and were looking for insects in the shade.

A Blackcap beside the Long Water was eating elderberries. Thanks again to Ahmet for this picture.

A Wood Pigeon in the Dell ate the berries of a lords and ladies plant (Arum maculatum, also called cuckoo pint and many other names). The berries contain crystals of highly irritating calcium oxalate, but Wood Pigeons seem to be able to eat anything and get away with it.


  1. You couldn't have looked at Ahmet's photo too clearly Ralph as it features an adult and juvenile Moorhen squabbling; no Coot for a change!

    1. Whoops! Thank you, changed. Very careless of me.