Tuesday, 15 June 2021

The young Grey Wagtails are still in the park. Here is one of them on a rock at the foot of the Dell waterfall, photographed from the top.

There was also a Pied Wagtail on the jetty at the Lido.

A Blue Tit hung upside down from a hawthorn twig and found a larva in the leaves.

A Great Spotted Woodpecker called from a tree in the Rose Garden.

A Magpie shelled a peanut. Its teenage offspring wanted to be fed, but the parent thought it was old enough to find its own food. However, the youngster sneaked in and grabbed a nut.

Ahmet Amerikali found a Reed Warbler on a cowparsley stem. It makes a pleasant change from the usual reed background.

The Great Crested Grebe sitting on eggs at the east end of the island passed the time by adjusting the algae on its soggy nest.

The grebe nest at the bridge should be hatching out soon.

Three families visited Peter Pan in the hope of being fed. The third Coot chick is all right but was out of the picture. However, the Egyptians are down to two.

The two blond Egyptian teenagers are now almost adult in appearance, though not yet grown to full size.

Hundreds of geese lined the Serpentine after arriving to moult.

The mother of a single cygnet on the Serpentine is a 'Polish' Mute Swan, with pale legs and feet and a slightly pink tinge to the bill. 'Polish' cygnets are white.

However, the gene is recessive, and her cygnet is the normal grey colour.

Black-Tailed Skimmer dragonflies like to rest on gravel, and the tarmac of the path in the Rose Garden is an acceptable substitute. You can see the insect's abdomen moving as she breathes.

The last time I put up a video of this species, it was on Vimeo. I was instantly banned and all my videos were removed from public view. Their dumb content filter had thought its name was a racial insult. An appeal to them had no effect, and I had to remake over a hundred videos on YouTube.

In the wildflower patch, one Buff-Tailed Bumblebee visited all the cornflowers ...

... and another worked its way through the poppies.

Monday, 14 June 2021

There was drama at the island. One of the four Mute cygnets had got trapped in a wire basket. Worse, it was trying to get out next to the Great Crested Grebes' nest, and the grebes were attacking it.

Hearing the noise, its mother turned up and drove off the grebes, but there was nothing she could do. I was watching this with Virginia, and it was a horrible spectacle.

By great good fortune Peter Scott, the boss of Bluebird Boats, happened to be passing in a powerboat, and we hailed him. He went off to see what he could do. He couldn't reach the cygnet, but he saw that it had got ito the basket though a gap where the wire mesh had been damaged, and that this gap was almost blocked by the large electric boat -- heaven knows how the cygnet had squeezed through it. So he moved the boat.

And that was enough. We visited the spot a few minutes later, and the cygnet had gone.

When I went past later, the cygnet was with the others following its mother as if nothing had happened. It was a bit scratched, but should be all right.

And the grebe was back on its nest sitting on the eggs.

We have no Wildlife Officer at the moment, as the excellent Hugh Smith has taken a better paid job elsewhere. The post is advertised but no appointment has yet been made.

Another Mute Swan and three cygnets browsed on algae under the parapet at the Serpentine outflow.

The Greylag Geese at the east end of the Serpentine still have all ten goslings, which are now quite big.

There is a new brood of Egyptian Geese on the Round Pond.

The lone Red-Crested Pochard which was part of a trio with two Mallards was on the gravel strip on the Long Water with a female Mallard. Has he rebuilt his relationship after being kicked out?

A fine picture by Virginia of two Mallard drakes fighting.

The Coots nesting near the bridge have lost their second brood of chicks, and have only the single survivor from the first brood. They are still tending their remaining eggs in the hope that they will hatch, but that seems increasingly unlikely.

Peter Scott told me that the Moorhen that nested in the control console of one of his powerboats successfully hatched and raised her chicks, not minding the boat being driven around. Here to celebrate her success is a portrait.

The bushes around the Long Water are loud with the cries of tit fledglings. Here are two families of Great Tits ...

... and one Blue Tit chick being fed.

Neil got a fine picture of a Reed Warbler in the reed bed east of the Lido.

Two terrapins emerged from the algae on the Long Water, looking like tanks under camouflage netting.

This year's new carp are only two inches long, but already they are looking like adults. These were in one of the Italian Garden fountains.

A Buff-Tailed Bumblebee browsed on the flowers of Viper's Bugloss in the wildflower patch at the back of the Lido.

Sunday, 13 June 2021

Another hot day. A Magpie sunbathed in the grass.

Grey Herons perched on the small electric boat. The one on the right, panting and with wings extended, was clearly feeling the heat. The other preened imperturbably.

The Black Swan sought the shade of a willow.

The Coot with one chick from the boathouse sat in the scanty shade of the railings.

Even the Rose-Ringed Parakeets, which are Indian and ought to stand the heat well enough, seemed subdued. A Carrion Crow ate the apples that had been put out for them.

The weather never interrupts the love life of Feral Pigeons.

A young Blackcap flitted about in a tree beside the Long Water.

A Chiffchaff perched in a hawthorn.

A young Great Tit gave the camera a serious stare.

One of the Great Crested Grebes nesting at the east end of the island turned over the eggs in the nest to keep them evenly warmed.

A pair of Coots are foolishly making a nest on the chains next to the bridge, right under the posts where the Herring Gulls like to perch.

At the other end of the bridge, the Coots have already lost all their new chicks and are down to the sole survivor from the first brood. There are still some eggs in the nest but I don't think they'll hatch now.

The new Egyptian Goose family on the Long Water grazed on the thick mat of algae brought up by the hot weather.

Egyptian teenagers on the Serpentine raced around and dived.

The eldest two Greylag goslings are now quite large and beginning to get an adult look.

An Emperor Dragonfly rested on an iris leaf in the Italian Garden.

There was such a crowd of Buff-Tailed Bumblebees on the Lamb's Ears flowers in the Rose Garden that it has forced out the Honeybees, which were having to make do with the scantier pollen from a patch of pink Cranesbill.

Saturday, 12 June 2021

A Wren scolded a predator, probably a Magpie, in a tree beside the Long Water.

Another Wren was scolding another Magpie in the Rose Garden.

A young Blackcap beside the Long Water called loudly to be fed. Its parents were away looking for insects for it.

A pleasing picture by Neil of the familiar Blue Tit that follows us along the path beside the Long Water, asking for pine nuts.

A Great Crested Grebe fished in the thick algae at the north end of the Long Water. It brought something up, but it was only a stick.

The Moorhen chicks are finding it quite hard to move through the dense mat.

A pair of Moorhens affectionately ate each other's parasites on a branch.

The three Coot chicks at Peter Pan were in high spirits, washing ...

... jumping on to the nest ...

... and being fed by their parents.

Two more pictures by Neil. There is a new family of Egyptian Geese on the Long Water, and they have taken up residence on the Mute Swans' nesting island ...

... where strangely the swans tolerate them.

The Greylag Geese families with goslings on the south side of the Serpentine are very protective of their brood and shoo away other Greylags, in contrast to the cooperative Canadas who look after each other's families.

But there is only one Canada gosling this year, now a teenager and beginning to grow its primary feathers.

The four young Mallards are now as large as their mother and it's quite hard to tell them apart. She is at front left in this picture.

A crowd of Buff-Tailed Bumblebees browsed on the little purple flowers of Lamb's Ears in the Rose Garden.

A hoverfly landed on a bramble flower. I think it's a Lesser Banded Hoverfly, Syrphus vitripennis, but it might be S. ribesii as you can't be sure of the colour of its legs in the shadow.