Tuesday 30 June 2020

The Great Crested Grebes who nested under the willow near the bridge fed their two chicks. This video was shot looking down from the bridge.

The other family could be seen at a distance from the far side of the Long Water.

The Coot nest at the Dell restaurant is getting ridiculously tall -- and remember that it's built in 2ft 6in of water, so it's a mighty structure. I hope it doesn't share the fate of the Tower of Babel.

The nest on the post at Peter Pan is also quite large but, like the biblical tower, doomed to end in failure, while the better sited nest at the restaurant has succeeded several times in past years.

A chick near the Lido was fed by both parents at the same time and had to decide which offer to take.

A young Moorhen struck a pose at the Lido ...

... and so did a Grey Heron near the Italian Garden.

The dominant male Mute Swan on the Long Water, in front of his mate and three cygnets, had a faceoff with the second male who only has one cygnet. They seem to have come to an agreement that restricts their rivalry to display without fighting. It's possible that the number two male is the number one's son.

(The two scenes were shot within three minutes, during which it stopped raining.)

A huddle of young Egyptian Geese decided that five's company ...

... and six is a crowd.

Black-Headed Gulls perched on the dead willow near the Italian Garden.

There were two young Blackbirds at the back of the Lido with their parents, who were not feeding them and clearly thought it was time that the youngsters learned to fend for themselves.

They aren't much good at it yet.

The young Starlings have been expert scavengers for some time.

The same Wren was still scolding beside the Long Water. The little bird seems to live in perpetual fury.

A Common Carder bee worked over the wildflower patch at the back of the Lido.

Monday 29 June 2020

Every time I see this Wren beside the Long Water it is furiously scolding some predator, a Carrion Crow or a Magpie.

But after a while it settled down and had a preen to settle its ruffled feathers and feelings.

The two Mute Swan cygnets on the Serpentine were having a moment of peace.

The female swan with four cygnets had only three of them with her, and people were worrying that she had lost one.

But the missing cygnet was soon found. It was with its father, being taught the main rule of being a swan: you attack everything smaller than yourself for no reason at all.

A group of swans had a concerted rush together to see if their new wing feathers had grown enough to carry them, which they hadn't. But the Black Swan, starting at the back, overtook them because its feathers are now fully grown. I haven't seen it take off yet, though.

A Mallard at Peter Pan has managed to hold on to seven ducklings by keeping them under a bush.

Two female Red-Crested Pochards appeared at the Vista. It's unusual to see two females by themselves without the far more numerous males. Probably they had flown in from St James's Park simply to avoid the attention of the drakes.

Two Egyptian goslings in a huddle on the edge of the Serpentine were ruffled by the brisk wind.

The three Egyptian goslings on the Long Water are now quite large. They appeared on the wall of the old water filter under the marble fountain. One of the parents is stranding on the remains of a Coots' nest, abandoned when a Grey Heron started using it as a fishing platform.

Nearby, another Coot family were out looking for food among the algae. They examined a floating bottle cap and discarded it.

All four Great Crested Grebe chicks on the Long Water could be seen, but again it was impossible to get even a moderately good picture. Here is one of the parents lurking under the willow next to the bridge.

The nest at the west end of the island is now permanently occupied, and probably there are eggs in it now.

Things should be happening quite soon at the other end of the island, but at present all you can see is a comfortably sitting grebe.

The hollyhocks in the Rose Garden are attracting lots of Buff-Tailed Bumblebees.

Sunday 28 June 2020

At the end of June the birds have almost stopped singing. Even the voluble Song Thrush in the Flower Walk had fallen silent.

A Greenfinch in a holly tree beside the Long Water made itself noticed by twittering a bit.

The Reed Warblers in the reed bed at the east end of the Serpentine have bred, and there was a good deal of calling and dashing around. The young ones are less shy than adults, and if they come out at the front they don't flee instantly when you pick up a camera.

Several young Pied Wagtails could be seen on the edge of the Round Pond.

The Black-Headed Gulls are now returning in earnest, and there were twenty on the posts at Peter Pan.

The new Grey Heron in the Dell looked oddly small in front of the gigantic leaves of Chilean Rhubarb.

The west end of the Lido swimming area is a safe place to rest. Both the Serpentine Mute Swan families use it -- this is the swan with two cygnets -- and so do the Egyptian Geese.

The Black Swan, which has been sitting around droopily while going through the boring and painful business of moulting, was now looking recovered and active again. I haven't seen its new wing feathers and don't know whether it can actually fly yet -- probably not, as it was a windy day and that stimulates swans to try out their regrown wings.

A Mallard with three ducklings, another with two, and a pair of Coots with four chicks all came to the waterfront at Peter Pan hoping to be fed.

One of the Mallard ducklings at the Vista is blond.

The wind it had blown away the second Coot nest built against the balcony of the Dell restaurant, for the second time this year. However, the very large and solidly made first nest remains intact and has been built up higher than ever.

The nest at the outflow, tucked into a corner of the masonry, is also still there.

The pair who lost their nest will probably try again. This pair near the Italian Garden were with their third brood after losing two.

Both sets of young Great Crested Grebes on the Long Water were in good shape, but neither was in a place where I could get a worthwhile picture. The sitting grebe at the east end of the island idly rearranged some leaves on the nest.

The shelter on Buck Hill is used for all kinds of things, on a first come first served basis. Mostly it's boxing and martial arts, so a bit of dance is a relief.

A picture from St James's Park by Joan Chatterley. The Black Swans on the Pelican Rocks have made their nest site more comfortable with algae and water weed, and there are now two eggs.

Saturday 27 June 2020

The Great Crested Grebes from the willow tree were out on the water and could be seen from the bridge. It's now clear that they have two chicks.

The chicks can climb almost like lizards, using their wings as front legs.

The family farther up the Long Water hug the east shore and can only be seen from a distance.

The grebes at the west end of the island were vaguely adding bits to their nest. They don't seem to have any eggs yet.

But the pair at the east end do, and one could be seen as it was turned over.

One of the Coots nesting on the Bluebird Boats platform ignored the morning drizzle.

There are eggs in the Coot nest at the Serpentine outflow. This picture was taken looking down from the parapet of the fake bridge on top of the dam.

The four Mute Swan cygnets on the Serpentine are already proficient beggars. They were near the Diana fountain, always a good place to tout for food.

The dominant mother on the Long Water took her cygnets to Peter Pan for the same reason. One of them was riding on her back ...

... but crawled around too adventurously and fell off.

I really think Jorgen must be right in his theory that swans get bloodstained wings from pecking at them to relieve the furious itch of growing new feathers. I can't imagine how this feels, something like pencils coming out of your arms.

A Mallard at the bridge has produced nine new ducklings. For the moment, there were no hungry gulls circling overhead.

An Egyptian Goose in the same place had six small goslings.

The sun came out for a while, surprising a Blackbird.

A Dunnock moved along the shore at the Lido, finding several worms that had come up after the rain.

There was a family of Goldcrests in a tree near the bridge, but I couldn't get a picture of any of the young ones.