Tuesday 16 June 2020

This morning there were five Common Terns over the lake, the first seen here this year.

These are the Canada goslings from the tern raft on the Long Water, which couldn't get off and had to be rescued yesterday by Hugh the Wildlife Officer.

None the worse for their experience, they are now on the Serpentine, in company with the other two Canadas and their two larger goslings.

The Black Swan's new flight feathers are coming along well ...

... but a closer look shows that they still have small black patches on the tips. It looks as if Black Swans have to go through two moults before their wing feathers are pure white.

Only a pink tinge to the bill and one stray red feather show that this female-looking Mandarin is a drake in eclipse.

One of the Great Crested Grebes from the nest at the island turned over the eggs.

I could only see three Coot chicks from the nest in the boathouse when they first appeared, but a fourth has now arrived on the scene.

Two young Grey Herons have appeared on the Serpentine, evidently from Regent's Park or Battersea Park.

A young Pied Wagtail on the jetty at the Lido caught a damselfly. It was a hard thing to swallow ...

... and the bird had to sit down for a few seconds.

But within a minute it was back on its feet and digging a larva out of the plastic matting.

The Long-Tailed Tits have quietened down and it seems that their young are now catching their own insects. A small family flew along the edge of the Long Water.

I haven't seen any young Blackbirds yet, but mothers are busy finding food for their young. One beside the Long Water had a large caterpillar ...

... and one in the Dell found a small worm.

The Little Owl in the alder tree wouldn't pose nicely for her portrait.

A Honeybee visited a cranesbill flower ...

... and a Buff-Tailed Bumblebee in a hollyhock got covered in pollen.


  1. Lovely lemon colour on that flower and the bumblebee! Shiny happy warm picture.

    No wonder the young wagtail had to sit down after such a heavy meal.

  2. It must be like trying to swallow a pencil. But birds do these things differently and can grind things up quickly with the stones in their gizzards.

  3. Good to have the Common Tern back in the park. The only place I've so far seen them this year is Ruislip Lido where a small number breed. In many places Black-headed Gulls are now taking over the rafts where the terns used to breed.

    1. I fear thar the tern rafts at the Leg o' Mutton reservoir may face the same fate.

  4. WOW...what a feast of nature and creation...
    Love the colour combination of both the buff-tailed bumblebee and the honeybee feeding on flora.
    I am patiently waiting to have a GLIMPSE of the wee owl...

    1. Just keep trying at the alder tree and I'm sure you'll see the owl.

  5. Agree with others, that is really beautiful image of the bumblebee covered in pollen.

  6. At RSPB BELFAST the tern rafts don't go out until the gull nests are well established and the terns appear, usually mid/late May. If the rafts are there earlier the gulls get in first.
    If they are left out over the winter the terns have no chance.

    1. Sounds a very good idea. The attempt to attract terns to the park here was completely botched. One raft with no stones of shelter, the idea being to add these when a tern appeared. Meanwhile, if a tern did come it would look at the raft, reject it as unsuitable, and fly away. The raft was occupied by all kinds of other birds -- gulls, geese, Cormorants, Grey Herons etc. So it was covered up with a net to make it unusable. The other birds still sat on it. Really this dismal thing ought to be removed.

    2. They've tried doing this on the Pen Ponds, Richmond Park but the gulls have got in as soon as the covers were removed. I went back to Ruislip Lido yesterday & one raft had 2 pairs of Black-headed Gulls with 2 & 3 young respectively & 4 pairs of Common Tern of which I could see one chick, but the bottom of the raft isn't that easy to view thoroughly as it's inclined & vegetation on there. Also sharing the busy raft was a Mallard 7 a Moorhen. The only aggression I saw between terns & gulls was always a brief dive by the terns at the gulls which were always docile.

    3. Encouraging that terns are managing somewhere, anyway.