Wednesday 2 September 2020

A Mute Swan on the Serpentine enjoyed a splashy wash.

The three cygnets on the Long Water  cruised in a neat row escorted by their father.

An Egyptian Goose splashed down and waterskied to a halt. Thanks to Ahmet Amerikali for this picture.

The three Mallard ducklings, now grown almost to full size, remained in their favourite spot next to the boathouse.

The youngest brood of Great Crested Grebe chicks were in their usual place next to the island. They are now quite large and begging noisily.

Two Grey Herons gave each other hostile stares in a cedar tree.

After the pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull had finished his lunch ...

... he meticulously washed his face in the lake.

The Grey Wagtail in the Dell stood on the edge of the waterfall.

Another good picture by Ahmet: a Goldcrest in the shrubbery near the bridge.

A Great Tit perched beside some ripening holly berries.

Horse chestnut seeds are quite poisonous, containing the saponin aescin, the glucoside aesculin and various alkaloids, but that doesn't seem to bother the squirrels.

Carp in two sizes in a pond in the Italian Garden.

Ivy flowers attract a lot of wasps, but for some reason no bees.


  1. Does the Great Tit have a few white feathers in its head? Or is it the reflection of the light?

    That swan father must be a really good educator. Look at what a tidy row the cygnets are making!

    1. Yes, that Great Tit does have a few white feathers. I've seen her several times in this tree.

      If that swan is teaching his cygnets to be like him, there is trouble coming.

  2. Is the pigeon eating Black Back getting even more skilful? He took his prey in the air this evening.

    ps It's just been announced that Winter Wonderland is cancelled this year.

    1. I've seen that gull chasing a pigeon in level flight and nearly getting it -- he grabbed its tail but only got a couple of feathers. I don't know how he manages to match a pigeon's speed, maybe approaching in a dive. He has been trying new techniques for all the time I've been watching him.

      A personal relief that the hideous funfair is cancelled, but it will mean less money for the park. The way the government is trying to prolong the panic after the disease has subsided, in fact its conduct throughout the whole affair, is criminal in the full sense of the word.

    2. I too have seen the pigeon eater try (and fail every time) to take a pigeon in the air, which is why I was surprised yesterday when I saw it succeed.
      It was the usual scene at the Restaurant – many pigeons competing for bread being thrown by tourists and the Lesser Black Back stalking them for several minutes but getting nowhere near any of the wary birds. Then it took off towards a couple of pigeons at the water’s edge. They took flight immediately but it managed to get enough purchase on one of them to get it into the water and immobilise it.
      My impression was that the two of them flying upwards at the same time restricted the manoeuvrability of the near one. Maybe the clever gull has learned this?

    3. I've seen the gull trying to herd a pigeon into the confined space under the restaurant balcony so it can't fly out quickly. That gull really does think and plan.

  3. Keep searching the ivy, Ralph. seeing a lot of images on-line over the last week or so of Ivy Bees, relatively recent colonist which is quite common in places now & certainly found in London-not sure about inner London? I do see Honey Bees on it plus a good variety of hoverflies as well as butterflies such as Red Admiral & Comma. Apparently worth looking at night for moths.
    Such a valuable resource for insects- just about our last native plant to flower en masse.