Monday 8 June 2020

The highlight of a rather uneventful day was a good view of a Grey Wagtail at the top of the Dell waterfall. It had a thorough wash and preen, looked around for insects on the rocks, and then left for the much better hunting ground in the stream below.

Please note: this video absolutely has to be watched in HD. Click on the gearwheel at bottom right, then click on 'Quality' and select the highest setting.

The Little Owl was in her usual alder tree, but in an awkward place where it was impossible to get much of a picture.

A Magpie on a branch below gave me a calculating look.

There is a new Great Crested Grebes' nest on the east side of the Long Water, visible across the lake at the Vista.

This is not the same as the one on the same side under the willow tree, which is 50 yards away next to the bridge.

Both grebes were at the nest on the Serpentine island.

Every year there is a Coots' nest in the foundations of one of the small boathouses, a well protected place. Even so, only two chicks have survived the onslaught of the Herring Gulls.

A pleasing picture by Mark Williams of the Mute Swan on the Serpentine with four cygnets.

The swan with two cygnets was at the east end of the Lido, not far from the nest.

The single cygnet on the Long Water never ventures more than a few inches from its mother. There are fewer gulls on the Long Water, so it stands a fair chance of survival.

A Grey Heron watched the nest of the dominant pair. This might be a sign that the eggs are hatching, but no activity could be seen when I went past twice.

The Black Swan was back on the Serpentine, none the worse for having been chased off the Long Water for the second time.

The Canada Geese with two goslings are now permanently on the Long Water, a sensible move to get them away from the killing ground of the Serpentine. They keep their distance from the aggressive swans.

Two of the Bar-Headed x Greylag Goose hybrids from St James's Park are here to moult. One of them cropped the scanty grass at the east end of the Serpentine.

Two Greylags had found much better grass in the enclosure of the Diana fountain. Since it was closed the grass has grown long and lush with tasty seed heads to give a bit of variety.

The four surviving Egyptian goslings on the Round Pond are now almost as big as their parents, and will be starting to fly soon.

The male Egyptian at the Henry Moore sculpture was alone again, a sign that his mate is back nesting in the dead tree. Sadly, their repeated attempts at breeding have never succeeded in the several years that they have been here. They are just no good at looking after their goslings.

A Common Blue Damselfly perched on a dead leaf in the long grass on Buck Hill.


  1. That wagtail toilet routine is quite something indeed.

    As regards the Henry Moore Egyptians, possibly excepting the gosling adopted off them, of course. And always a pleasure to tune in. Jim

    1. It was the other hopeless pair in the Italian Garden whose only descendant was an adopted gosling. This pair has a completely blank record but hasn't sustained if for 20 years like them, only about 5.

  2. Watched it in full screen. Best three minutes of the week! I don't think I have ever seen a wagtail's toilette before.

    Very glad to see the single cygnets appears to be a sensible young bird.

    1. That wagtail really did put on a fine show. Wish I could put it up in the original quality, but the only outfit that allows that is Vimeo and after my experience of their appalling service I won't touch them again.