Monday, 31 May 2021

A Chiffchaff preened in a treetop. A quick burst of song, and off it flew to catch insects. It's the father of at least one nestling, which I photographed on Friday.

A Blue Tit preened on a hawthorn twig. Hawthorn trees are popular with all the small insect-eating birds at all times of year. They must contain more insects than the others.

The male Grey Wagtail was in the Italian Garden collecting various insects over the ponds.

The Great Crested Grebe chick was on the water beside a parent. It's grown quite a lot, thanks to its parents' efforts to find suitable sized fish at the wrong time of year. A single chick stands a reasonable chance of survival, though they were unable to support two.

The grebes on the nest under the willow near the bridge have decorated their nest with a red strap, their favourite colour.

The Coots at the other side of the bridge fed their chicks. The recently laid eggs are making it difficult for the parents to look after the chicks and incubate the eggs at the same time.

The Mute Swan family on the Long Water annoyed a Coot by letting the cygnets poke around it its nest. The young birds need extra protein to grow, and eat the insects that infest the nest.

The same thing was happening at the east end of the Serpentine.

The young Black Swan had a vigorous wash, and dived for several seconds. It has stayed at the east end of the lake for some time, keeping away from the aggressive males at the other end.

You can see at the beginning of the video that one of its feathers fell out. It blew ashore and I photographed it. You can see the brownish grey tip that gives a young Black Swan a variegated appearance.

Two broods of Greylag Geese passed in line astern.

The Red-Crested Pochard drake who used to belong to a trio with two Mallards was back on the Long Water alone, as he was when I saw him on the Serpentine yesterday. Perhaps he will join the next group of Red-Crested Pochards that visits the park.

The big single pink roses in the Rose Garden are sending the Honeybees into a frenzy of pollen gathering.

The important thing for a bee is being able to get into the flower. Many of the complicated double roses are impenetrable to them.

Allium flowers are easy to browse on and much visited, though they don't excite the bees as much.


  1. I wonder why the like some flowers better than others. I imagine the pollen must taste different to them.

    Sometimes I think we as a species have committed a crime with roses as much as we have with dogs.

    Very happy to see the Grebe chick thriving. One is better than none.

  2. I forgot to manifest my admiration of the Black Swan's intriguing and beautiful feather!

    1. It is a strange sight to see Honeybees rolling around in ecstasy in that pink rose. To a human nose it smells reasonably rose-like, not especially fragrant, but bees have different perceptions from ours.

      Absolutely agree about the rose breeders. I love wild-type roses and am completely indifferent to the cabbage-like freaks that people have created.