Monday, 25 November 2019

One of the youngest Great Crested Grebe chicks on the Long Water was still begging a parent for food.

Later, it had a go at fishing for itself ...

... and it must have caught something, because a Black-Headed Gull swooped on it and it had to crash dive.

A Mute Swan that has been in one of the fountain pools in the Italian Garden for several days had managed to haul itself up the stone kerb, and was preening to calm down after the effort. On the water side the kerb is about 18 inches high, without any kind of foothold.

I've only once seen how a swan gets out of the pool, and didn't manage to get a photograph in time. They rush headlong at the kerb, crash into it, and flap desperately to get up. Somehow this doesn't seem to injure them. Feathers are a good shock absorber. Duckboards are provided for climbing out of these ponds, but I've never seen any bird use them for this purpose.

This is the family of Egyptian Geese that like to lie in the middle of the road. In wet weather they find it more comfortable to stand in a puddle.

The Diana fountain is closed for maintenance, and the pair of Herring Gulls that are usually here can lounge about undisturbed.

A Pied Wagtail ...

... and a Grey Wagtail hunted for insects at the edge of the Serpentine.

While the Blue Tits at the bridge came out to be fed ...

... a Chaffinch, a Dunnock and a Blackbird searched for insects under the bushes.

Another Blackbird ate holly berries.

A Magpie posed grandly against a background of autumn leaves.

The workmen on the island haven't been provided with a boat or so much as a paddle, and have to haul themselves around on a raft made of twelve interlocking pontoon blocks.

A bird feeder was wearing a splendid flamingo hat.


  1. I need that hat.

    Young Grebes ought to exploit humans' liking for extreme cuteness and tout for food. Who could resist a begging chick still sporting its pretty head stripes?

    I think I would give quite a bit to see a swan maneuvring its bulk in such a way. It must have been a spectacle. An irristible force meets, and defeats, an unmovable object.

    1. Who goes around with fish in his pocket? (Well, actually there is someone who takes cans of sardines to the park, but they're for the herons.) I did once see a boy hand-feed a small bit of white bread to a very naive grebe chick which probably thought it was a feather.

      The spectacle of the swan ramming a stone kerb at full speed was horrifying. I thought it would smash its ribs.