Friday 19 June 2020

One Common Tern had come back and was fishing busily.

After covering the whole length of the lake several times it took a rest on the plastic buoys at the Lido.

The pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull snatched one of the two last ducklings of a Mallard. To him they are the merest snack.

The belligerent male Mute Swan with two cygnets tried to drown another swan at the island, luckily without success.

Later he was alternately guarding the cygnets and attacking any other swan that came within fifty yards of him.

Virginia sent this picture of an Egyptian Goose nesting in a tree near the Round Pond.

This creates a problem. Last year her family was attacked by the dominant male Egyptian on the pond, which killed her mate -- she has a new one now. If she takes the goslings to the Round Pond the same thing will happen again. Possibly Hugh will be able to capture her and the family soon after they arrive and take them to the relative safety of the Long Water.

The tireless Coots nesting for the second time at the Dell restaurant have built their nest up to a considerable height. Much of the top is made from moulted goose feathers.

A Coot parent watched as the two chicks wandered through the water lilies in the Italian Garden fountains. Five of the six fountains are now working again, as you can hear.

Moorhens fed their two chicks in their nest in the fountain pool. They have to share this area with the Coots, which often attack them.

A Moorhen beside the Serpentine ignored a nesting Coot glaring at it from a few inches away. Moorhens like to rest near posts so they don't get trodden on by passing humans, and if a Coot builds a nest in the same place, too bad.

A Mistle Thrush nesting near the Albert Memorial was having trouble with a Magpie. It perched on a branch, rattling furiously.

A Song Thrush sang on a tree beside the Long Water.

A young Wood Pigeon pestered its parent.

A pair of Feral Pigeons were billing and cooing on the path.

A rat had got stuck in the fountain in the Rose Garden. The fountain isn't working and has only a trickle of rainwater in the bottom, which the rat had come in to drink only to find that the edge of the fountain was too high to jump up to, and had an awkward projection at the top which made it impossible to scramble up. I put a fallen branch in the fountain for it to climb.


  1. I'm glad you gave the rat a hands-up. Made it to the park again today. Saw a pair of Egyptians with 2 teenagers, both in that growing-wingfeathers stage (still sheathed in blue). One of them had the left of its small wings sticking out at a wrong angle: is that the dread 'angel wing' condition? Hope not.

    1. Yes, sadly it is. One of the two larger Canada goslings has it too.

    2. I meant Canada Goose, actually. (don't know why I said Egyptian, such rather different birds)

    3. Well, at least that means there is only one case so far this year in the park.

    4. Glad to hear that (if that's the word; feel so sorry for the young bird.) Sorry about my goof.

  2. You are a better person than I am. I'd leave the rat there for crows or herons to eat.

    Poor Mallard mother. Courageous, but powerless and helpless.

    I always wonder, how can birds as beautiful and regal as swans are be such murderous brutes?

    1. The rat looked miserable. It couldn't just be left.

      There is brutality all around in nature, but it shows more in swans because they're so large and noticeable.

  3. Survival of the fittest of both the gull and swan videos, rather scary and exciting...
    I saw 5 herons hanging out on the bank of the serpentine yesterday morning, an unusual sight ...often they stand solitarily like statuettes.

    1. They were probably waiting for Dave to come and feed them canned sardines with chopsticks.

  4. What a brilliant observation of the duckling take. Did you get it by chance or were you expecting something to happen?
    Has the absence of boats all over the lake had any effect? Does it mean for example that there's more space for the predatory gulls to operate, or, as in today's picture, more space for the tern to fish?

    1. I was just filming the ducklings and the gull happened to arrive. The shot of it flying was taken afterwards to add context, and slightly dishonestly placed before the event.

      I don't think the boats make any difference, except that grebes find a group of moored boats a good place to hunt under. The birds are used to these slow trundling things, and even tiny chicks have no difficulty in getting out of their way.