Wednesday 26 August 2020

Two young Lesser Black-Backed Gulls tried to wheedle their parents into feeding them, without the slightest result except that one parent was irritated and flew away. It's time they fed themselves.

If it were not for this behaviour it would be very hard to tell them from young Herring Gulls. Generally young Lesser Black-Backs are darker, but this juvenile gull is quite dark and it was only when it opened its wings that you could see the pale inner primaries which showed that it was a Herring Gull.

The young Hobbies were flying around and perching in the tall plane trees near the Rima relief.

The little pool at the top of the Dell waterfall is a popular place for many kinds of bird to bathe and drink. Here are a Blue Tit and the usual Grey Wagtail, which is now there daily. This originally very shy bird has become used to people looking over the balustrade and no longer takes any notice of them.

A Carrion Crow also enjoyed a dip in the pool.

A Coal Tit in the Rose Garden waited to come down to the feeder.

One of the young Great Crested Grebes from the west end of the island -- the younger of the two broods here -- was already having a go at fishing under a pedalo, no doubt having learnt from its parents that fish lurk under boats. It didn't catch anything, unlike the older two chicks from the island which are now quite often succeeding.

The young grebes on the Long Water are older still, and could probably support themselves now. But they are still chasing their parents, and will continue to do so until they are definitely kicked out.

There is usually just one Moorhen standing on the weir at the Serpentine outflow. Evidently the other one is on the nest below.

The single cygnet from the Long Water was under the bridge. The family is in an awkward position, because they have been chased off the Long Water by the dominant pair but when they go beyond the bridge they get attacked by the large and violent male who rules the west end of the Serpentine.

A fine picture by Virginia of a swan taking off, skipping along the surface as it hauls itself up.

A pair of Red-Crested Pochards at the Vista. Even when the male is in eclipse and has the same plumage as the female he retains something of the big bouffant hairdo that he will have when he gets back into breeding plumage later in the year.

The female looks much the same all year round.

There are quite a lot of Common Carder bees now. This one was on a knapweed flower in the wildflower patch at the back of the Lido.


  1. That's an amazing picture of the swan taking off, almost as if it was walking on water.

    Doesn't the young gull sound and look pitiful! But buyer beware, I guess.

    The crow at its bath looks so funny- perhaps it was not amused that its ablutions were interruped.

    1. I've never seen one of these begging young gulls succeed. I think that once they're out of the nest and flying properly all feeding stops.

  2. You're getting some great observations of your Hobbies. They should be off soon & so hope they return next season. I was dismayed to see on Bird Guides that one was shot in Essex & died in care.

    The Red-Crested Pochards are such fine dandies. I know there was also quite a large free-winged flock in RegentsPark.

    1. I think these Hobbies or their descendants have been returning every year, but since they nest in different places every year sometimes we aren't finding them at all. The adults hunt at such high altitudes that it's easy to miss them entirely.

      The only way to track the erratic movements of the inner London Red-Crested Pochards would be to visit all three parks daily.