Tuesday 23 June 2020

The Great Crested Grebes on the Long Water have three chicks. The one on the left is being served with a small fish, while the parent on the right is offering a feather (which grebes eat to help with their digestion).

Grebes are not good nest builders, and the pair at the island have had great difficulty attaching their nest to the wire basket by pushing twigs through the mesh until one stuck. After several days it's still not much of a nest, as you can see when one of the grebes tries to sit on it.

The Mute Swan mother of the four cygnets on the Serpentine left them on their own ...

... while she sailed off with wings raised to attack some swans that were minding their own business a hundred yards away.

A swan was nursing an injury. Impossible to tell whether it was inflicted by another swan or a dog.

The dominant swans on the Long Water were on their nest with three living cygnets and the dead one, which is in the water on the left where it has been for two days. They have made no effort to get rid of the corpse. Swans don't think like we do.

There were three families at the Vista: the swan with one cygnet, the Canada Geese with one gosling, and the Egyptians with six.

This was filmed by Eileen Tracy a few days ago, when the Egyptian mother still had nine goslings. She accidentally stood on one of them, but it bobbed up immediately none the worse for its experience.

Here are the single Canada gosling ...

... one of the Egyptians ...

... and a Mallard duckling ...

... one of two at Peter Pan which their mother was supervising from a post.

The little Egyptian looks much more like a duckling than a gosling. Egyptians are intermediate between ducks and geese, and their nearest British relatives are the Shelduck and Ruddy Shelduck, which are much the same size.

A Greylag Goose on the Serpentine has already finished moulting and has a fine new set of flight feathers.

A young Herring Gull ate a crayfish.

The Little Owl was in her usual place on the alder tree.

A young Carrion Crow was begging for food. Sadly, the object in the fork of the branch at bottom left seems to be a dead chick that the parent has snatched.

A small beetle wandered over the leaf of an Ox-Eye Daisy in the Rose Garden. I couldn't identify it, but Conehead 54 tells me that 'it's one of the longhorns (Cerambycidae) and looks like the Fairy- Ring Longhorn, Pseudovadonia livida. So named because the larvae develop in the Fairy-Ring Fungus seen on lawns. The adults seem partial to Ox-eye Daisies.'

Not so much a lap dog ...


  1. Poor injured swan. They don’t always have easy lives

    1. I wonder whether they are really more aggressive than the average for birds, or whether it just shows more because they are so big.

  2. Poor, poor swan. Can anything be done for it? Is its life in danger?

    Read today the sad story about the female swan that died of grief after losing all her eggs to miserable yobs in Manchester. Why, why would anyone do that to something so beautiful?! Sometimes I don't want to live in this horrid world.

    1. I don't think it was badly hurt. A bit of blood on white feathers looks awful.

  3. Lovely shot of the grebes being fed by the adults but sad to see the injured Mute Swan.

    Your beetle is one of the longhorns (Cerambycidae) & looks like the Fairy- ring Longhorn, Pseudovadonia livida. So named because the larvae developed in the Fairy-ring Fungus seen on lawns. The adults seem partial to Ox-eye Daisies as I've seen a few locally on them.

  4. I am saddened by the injured swan...but the adorable three consecutive PICS of the goslings and duckling and the beetle cheered me up...

    1. Not so sure now that the swan was injured by an outside agency. See Thursday's blog.