Tuesday 9 June 2020

A pair of Moorhens on the Serpentine have a single tiny chick. When a pair of Coots got too near, the parents sallied out to drive them away.

The Coots in the Italian Garden fed their two new chicks. The older chick felt left out and called plaintively.

The parents had made a large day nest out of algae on one of the inactive fountains.

The Coots at the Dell restaurant lost all their chicks to the hungry Herring Gulls. Now they are trying again.

The Mute Swan families have suffered no further losses. The female with two at the east end of the Lido only had to look at a Greylag and a Canada Goose and they left hastily.

The four cygnets were in the safety of the deserted Lido.

The single cygnet on the Long Water was staying very close to its mother.

The Black Swan rested with the other swans on the squalid and very smelly edge of the Serpentine near the bridge where they congregate while moulting. You can see its new wing feathers emerging from their white wrappings.

Common Pochards are usually winter visitors to the park, but one of each sex stayed behind this spring and now they have paired up. They were diving together at the Lido.

The Little Owl was in a different place in the alder tree and it took a lot of rushing around to find an angle from which she could be clearly seen through the leaves.

A Carrion Crow posed fetchingly on a pot of verbena.

A Great Tit waited to be fed on a sapling beside the Long Water.

A female Emperor dragonfly laid eggs on a dead iris leaf in the Italian Garden.

This attractive little brown creature was on Buck Hill. I looked it up in my book of butterflies and moths and was surprised to find it wasn't listed. Update: Mario says it's a Burnet Companion moth, Euclidia glyphica.

Joan Chatterley was in Battersea Park and found three families of Mandarins, the largest with eleven ducklings ...

... and two families of Mallards, the larger with nine.

The difference between Battersea and Hyde Park is striking, and almost entirely due to the huge mob of Herring Gulls from the Paddington colony here that grow more numerous every year. Since these are a protected species, we have to endure them.


  1. Couldn't gull populations be controlled with contraceptive-laden food? It works with pigeons.

    Such a tiny, defenceless little Moorhen. Their parents are so brave taking on the scary Coot.

    Is something wrong with the Cygnet on the right of the first swan picture? It is lying awkwardly.

    1. I don't think you're allowed to do anything to listed birds, not even say boo to them.

      The cygnet was all right. It was preening.

  2. The moth is the Burnet companion, Euclidia glyphica

    1. Thanks for the identification. Will put a note in the blog.

  3. Always good to see the Little Owl. I had one locally yesterday shouting at me so must have had young nearby.

    I'm seeing a lot of Burnet Companions along with a small number of Mother Shipton. Presumably there was some Bird's-foot Trefoil nearby- the larval food plant.

    Speaking of plants the pink flower is a Verbena but most definitely not V. bonariensis which is a tall plant with purple flowers. There is now a dwarf form called Lollipop but still has purple flowers & quite different to these which also have different leaf form.

    Good to see the Emperor ensuring the next generation!

    1. Thanks. There are various vetches and similar legumninous plants in the grass on Buck Hill, so probably some Bird's Foot Trefoil in there somewhere.

      We get reliable Emperors every year in and around the Italian Garden, so some of those eggs will be getting through.

      The verbena is some kind of nurseryman's plant from the greenhouses, heaven knows what, would have to see the label on the pot. Will change the text.

  4. Hello Ralph

    My name is Chris, live in Australia & have never visited the UK, though I guess I should one day as my father was a '10 pound pom'& left UK shores around 1959 I believe.

    Anyway I just love your blog, I have never been a bird watcher myself though I thoroughly love fauna & flora of all types. I found your blog quite accident. I was watching on youtube and noticed in the video suggestions to the side a video titled 'The gull who eats pigeons' ........ it grabbed my attention immediately and from, there I found the link to this blog and here I am :)

    You most certainly have a skill for beautiful camera work and editing, I just love how you don't use music backing but instead the natural background sounds of the environment, it really is beautifully done & you have a great narrating voice too. I've been flicking through your youtube video's over 90 minutes now .... loved it so much I've subscribed. I was absolutely stunned when I read the list of birds you have sighted ..... not that I know any of them at all lol, but impressive nonetheless. Thanks for sharing your work Ralph and zI hope to see many more. Have a great Day :)

    1. Thank you for your kind words. But the list on the right side of the blog page is a list of all the 196 species that have been sighted in the park since 1889. I have only seen 111 species in the park.

      Hope that when the current panic subsides you can come to London and see this beautiful park for yourself.