Friday 28 August 2020

The three Mallard ducklings on the Serpentine are large enough to deal with some Feral Pigeons that try to take their food.

The Black Swan was in a belligerent mood and was escorting his rival off the premises.

The dominant male Mute Swan on the Long Water was taking no nonsense from a dog that its irresponsible owner had let into the lake. The dog fled. All swans hate dogs but this one has a particular grudge, as he was badly injured in a dog attack several years ago. There is a big scar on his leg where he was bitten.

A Greylag Goose flapped its mighty wings.

A progress report on the youngest two Great Crested Grebe chicks from the nest at the west end of the island, now quite large. Both had just been fed and were quite quiet for once.

A Cormorant perched on a branch on the island.

A young Herring Gull played with a bit of bark ...

... and another one with a sponge.

This gull was looking sadly tatty. It does sometimes happen to gulls of all species. Maybe their preen glands stop producing oil and they can't smooth their feathers.

A Peregrine appeared on the barracks tower.

But there was no sign of the Hobbies.

The Grey Wagtail was in its usual place at the top of the Dell waterfall ...

... along with a Robin which clearly had the upper hand and sent it away several times.

A flock of Long-Tailed Tits passed through the trees near the allotment.

Tom got a good shot of a male Great Spotted Woodpecker near Peter Pan ...

.. and Julia sent this pleasing picture of a Starling fluffing itself up.

There was a Willow Emerald damselfly at the back of the Lido.

Ahmet Amerikali got a fine picture of the big hornet-mimicking hoverfly Volucella zonaria.

A patch of Toadflax has come up on Buck Hill. A flower was visited by a little fly with very long legs, much smaller than a familiar crane fly.


  1. Mysteriously, there always seems to be a Coot loitering in the vicinity whenever swan trouble brews in the horizon. Maybe they are boxing fans, maybe they are looking to learn new techiques from such pros as the Black Swan. Who knows.

    1. There are over 200 Coots on the lake, so it's quite hard to take a picture without a Coot in it. But they do love any kind of fight and hurry over when one breaks out.

  2. Amusing to watch those Mallard teenagers move the Feral Pigeons away from their food!

    Pleased you've got another Willow Emerald- numbers should peak round about now.

    I've only seen about 3 V. zonaria this year including one in the garden, so seems a pretty poor year for them. Social wasp numbers seem low too & as the hoverfly enters wasp nests to lay their eggs, that could be a factor? I was pleased to see 2 Hornets in Pembroke Lodge gardens, Richmond Park yesterday as I've seen very few this season. Possibly the very wet autumn/winter combined with some sharp May frosts may well be factors in the decline?

    1. I have only seen two V. zonaria and one Hornet, well below normal. But in contrast there are great clouds of Common Wasps at the place where foolish visitors put halved apples on the railings for the Rose-Ringed Parakeets. No doubt there is a nest somewhere near, but numbers are still impressive and, usefully, it's deterring people who hold out a bit of apple for a parakeet and get a dozen wasps instead.