Monday 15 June 2020

The eldest of this year's young Egyptians on the Serpentine have grown big new wing feathers, and seem a bit puzzled by them. They haven't quite finished preening off the wrappings that the feathers emerged in. When they have, they will be ready to practise flying.

A Greylag Goose was also busy unwrapping its regrown primaries.

The rival male Mute Swans on the Long Water were having a faceoff. It looks as if the territorial frontier runs across the lake just north of the Vista. However, the dominant swan retains the right to cross his rival's territory when chasing other swans back under the bridge, an arrangement that benefits them both.

The female with one cygnet watched this tense negotiation from a safe distance.

There is still no sign of hatching in the dominant pair's nest.

There were also two pairs of Mandarins on the far side of the lake ...

... and two Red-Crested Pochard drakes, but no sign of the gang of five re-forming. The movements of these birds are fairly random, since they are only occasional visitors from the large flock in St James's Park.

The Coots whose nest on the little island the dominant swans stole earlier have picked the swans' nest to pieces and reassembled it on the original spot. A Coot sat on it looking distinctly pleased with itself.

Virginia noticed that the Moorhens in the Italian Garden Ponds have young. Their nest is invisible in one of the planters. The Coots are giving the Moorhens a hard time as these bring food to the chicks.

Another pleasing picture by Virginia, of the Cormorant pair at the Serpentine island gazing soulfully into each other's turquoise eyes.

The Little Owl was in the alder tree. She is on a different branch each day and it takes some time to find an angle for an unobstructed shot.

A young Magpie begged its parent to feed it, and was told off. It's old enough to feed itself -- and in fact a moment before I started filming it was eating a seed it had found by itself.

Nick Abalov saw two rabbits at the Henry Moore sculpture, the first sighting for months. Will the population bounce back? Only a few years ago 33 rabbits were seen here.

He also got a good picture of the Red-Eared Sliders on the fallen horse chestnut in the Long Water. It seems that three survive from the five that were here a few years ago.

A Buff-Tailed Bumblebee visited a red rose in the Rose Garden.

It's reassuring to see that normal activities have resumed in the park.

But working from home won't go away -- and I wish I had been allowed to in my miserable years as an office worker. This is the first time I've seen a desk in the park, a nifty construction probably made from a pallet.

Jane Hughes reports that the young blonde Egyptian in Battersea Park, thrown out by the parents apparently for looking different, is thriving.


  1. Looked a like a fruitful day for All in the parks yesterday... contributing to some amazing pleasing PICS and videos. I was well entertained.
    Thank you Ralph, Virginia and Nick.

    1. It's always pleasing to get pictures from readers.

  2. It's weird how many species cannot tolerate albinism or discolouration in fellow species members. Glad the blonde Egyptian is fine.

    I wonder what "normal" is for the park.

    Aristotle used to teach while walking around, his students dutifully trailing after him. There is a wonderful little scene in Dead Poets' Society in which a Latin teacher tries to apply the same method with the schoolboys.

    1. 'Normal' for the park is strange, and the strangeness reaches its peak in the shelter on Buck Hill where every possible martial art and method of meditation is practised. It seems that you can do mindfulness if you're being rained on.

      There used to be a joke that you could do anything in the park if it didn't frighten the horses. But that was in more tolerant times than this mean-spirited era.