Thursday 4 June 2020

The female Mute Swan with six cygnets on the Serpentine shooed away a dangerous Carrion Crow and a harmless Mallard.

The dominant male swan on the Long Water guarded the nest. Four eggs are visible, but there may be more.

The female of the other pair rested on the gravel bank as a Red-Crested Pochard took off and the Egyptian Geese with three goslings walked in front. The cygnet was on the bank, out of sight of me and the dominant swan, a wise precaution ...

... though later she brought it over to the west shore of the Vista ...

... where the Canada Geese stood proudly over their goslings.

These are the only Canada goslings so far this year, and there are no Greylag goslings yet.

I was just about to write off the Grey Herons' attempts at nesting this year and report to the BTO Heronries Survey that they had produced just one young bird. But when I passed the island there was a heron in the easily visible nest at the front where a pair bred successfully very late last year, and it's possible they may be making a final effort.

Two herons perched in the big cedar near the bridge, one of their favourite places as it gives them a good view.

A brief sunny spell on a grey cool day prompted a Carrion Crow to sunbathe in the Dell, looking daft as they do when basking.

I think the Grey Wagtails in the Dell have an active nest under the bridge. One returned from hunting carrying an insect.

A Treecreeper climbed an oak near the leaf yard. They like oaks, whose deeply fissured bark harbours many insects.

While I was photographing two young Great Tits near the bridge ..

... a Reed Warbler appeared unexpectedly in a holly tree.

A very brief clip showing a female Black-Tailed Skimmer dragonfly living up to her name by skimming over the water depositing eggs on the surface.

A Buff-Tailed Bumblebee landed on a clover flower near the Italian Garden.

Trainee police divers are practising in the Serpentine, retrieving whatever they happen to find. One came up with a bottle.

This drone won't fly again.


  1. The drone looks like a sprawling drowned man. I actually had to do a double take until my brain caught up and recognized it for what it was.

    Good thing the immensely sweet young Tits quickly made it all better!

    That Swan is the very image of power. It looks invincible.

    The Spanish name for the dragonfly, "libélula", actually means "little scales", meaning that the dragonfly flies as if it were balancing itself in the air.

    1. When I first saw the drone I thought it was a large dead frog.

      There is a Latin word lĭbellŭlus, which Lewis & Short defines as 'a very little book (post-class.), Mart. Cap. 3, § 289.' A dragonfly does look slightly like a book with open pages. (I'd never even heard of 'Mart. Cap.', who turns out to be Martianus Capella, author of De nuptiis Philologiae et Mercurii.)

    2. Libellula (dragonfly) is a diminutive form of "libra" (scales, balance), and it refers to the way dragonflies hold their wings horizontally. It has nothing to do with "libellulus" (very small book), the diminutive form of "libellus" (small book), which is itself a diminutive of "liber" (book)

    3. What a tangle of words there is about liber and libra. Odd that libellula is not in either L&S or Du Cange. Must dig out my CD of the OLD and see if it's there.

  2. Lovely to see the Treecreeper & Reed Warbler.

    Amused to see the drone. They can do invaluable work but on the whole they are a pain in the wrong hands!

    1. For a moment I thought you meant the bumblebee, and checked the picture to make sure she was female as I remembered.

  3. That made me laugh- I did mean the contraption, not the bee!