Monday 14 October 2019

Wrens, which you don't think of as wetland birds, seem completely at home in the reed beds around the lake.

A flock of Long-Tailed Tits ...

... with a Chiffchaff in tow went through the trees above.

A female Chaffinch foraged in the dead leaves under the bushes.

The leaves at the edge of the lake are a hunting ground for Starlings.

This is one of the young Grey Herons from this year's nest on the island. The small boathouse is a favourite fishing spot because the reinforced concrete beams supporting the walls have gaps underneath where fish lurk in the shadows, and can be caught if they incautiously stray out.

One of the three young Great Crested Grebes from the island was on its own trying to catch fish, though I don't think it got any. The other two were chasing their parents as usual.

The teenager from the Long Water was in its usual place next to the boat platform.

The last time I saw one of the young Moorhens in the Dell trying to cross the small waterfall, it got washed away -- see the video on my blog entry for 12 September. A month later, they're big enough to hang on.

Greylag Geese, disturbed at their grazing by a dog, flew on to the Serpentine.

Two Shoveller drakes cruised past the Vista.

A Cormorant caught a fish under the marble fountain on the edge of the Italian Garden.

Another of the reliefs in the Italian Garden. Children attempt to sail a small Viking ship with a swan figurehead. The steering oar has come unshipped and a boy is trying to use it on the wrong side. Another has sensibly left this impractical craft and is swimming.


  1. I wonder what that relief means. Is it decoration, or does it have a deeper meaning?

    Isn't the Grebe too young to go fishing for itself? His stripes are still pretty marked. Good thing that it is an enterprising young fellow though.

    1. It's one of four purely ornamental reliefs of children playing in rural surroundings. I don't think it means anything special (unlike the rigorous iconographic programme of the Albert Memorial).

      Those three Grebe chicks seem unusually active and forward. All the better for their survival when they are given the push.

  2. Those Shoveler look pretty fine back in full plumage.

    It's interesting how adaptable Wrens are- they seem to occur in most terrestrial habitats- gardens, woods, reedbeds + also in heath/moorland low down. Always enjoy these feisty birds.

    1. It's remarkable how many Wrens there are in the park. You hear them in every thicket and bramble patch.

  3. As to the crew of yon boat, one of them is surely the young Lohengrin:

    Seht! Seht! Welch ein seltsam Wunder! Wie? Ein Schwan?
    Ein Schwan zieht einen Nachen dort heran!


    "Nun sei bedankt, mein lieber Schwan!
    Zieh durch die weite Flut zurück,
    dahin, woher mich trug dein Kahn..."

    1. Lohengrin 1850. Italian Garden, inspired by a German-born prince, 1860.