Saturday, 22 May 2021

Both the male Grey Wagtail ...

... and the female were in the Italian Garden.

The male had a beakful of insects for feeding their young. This may be the parents of the young wagtails at the Lido nesting again, or it may be a different pair.

Two young ones could be seen hunting in their usual place at the Lido restaurant.

Both the Blackbirds nesting near the Dell were out under the trees collecting worms for their young. This is the female.

A Robin at the foot of Buck Hill was also catching insects for nestlings. This is the mate of the one with an injured foot that I photographed yesterday.

One of the young Grey Herons from the nest on the Serpentine island had flown to Kensington Gardens and was fishing at the back of the gravel bank.

A heron looked at a terrapin on the fallen horse chestnut tree and decided it was impossible to eat. The terrapin is a Yellow-Bellied Slider.

Warning: this is pretty horrible to watch. The Lesser Black-Backed Gull which has been hanging around on the wooden posts near the Peter Pan statue ate a chick from the Coots' nest built against a post. Four chicks are left of the original seven. Very likely the gull has eaten the other two missing ones.

There are eight brand new Greylag goslings on the Serpentine, and their parents are doing their best to keep them safe from the hungry gulls. The family had to stop grazing and take to the water as a dog came past.

Hostilities continued between the two male Mute Swans at the island, while the cygnets flocked to the safety of their mother. I think the two missing cygnets may have been killed by the rival male.

The pair on the Long Water have also lost one cygnet, cause unknown.

A Feral Pigeon ventured into the nest of the swan at the Lido restaurant terrace. I still haven't managed to see her four cygnets, which were tucked up under her wings.

The young Black Swan on the Serpentine is definitely alone now. No one has seen the older Black Swan for several days. It's likely that she left after losing a fight with the dominant male Mute Swan on the Long Water, who has become much more aggressive since the cygnets were hatched and has been clearing out rivals from his territory.

The elderly Canada x Greylag hybrid goose appeared at Peter Pan, the first time I've seen it on the Long Water.

A pair of Mandarins wandered around in the daisies in the enclosure of the Diana memorial fountain, which has become a haven for wildlife since it was closed in the Great Panic.

Most of the roses in the Rose Garden are complicated scentless modern double varieties and the bees ignore them, but this simple rose attracts a lot of Honeybees and Buff-Tailed Bumblebees.

Tom was at Rainham, and got a good picture of a juvenile Bearded Tit ...

... and a female Pochard about to splash down.


  1. Hi Ralph,

    How can we contact you directly/send you photos, you may wish to post on here?


    1. You can send pictures and private queries to me at This address is given at the top right corner of the blog, but only when you view it on a computer screen.

    2. Thank you; that's why I have never seen it, I'm always reading your blog on a mobile­čÖé

  2. Thanks for the warning. Poor little chick. Coots never learn.

    I wonder why rival swans kill other swans' babies. What do they stand to win by doing so?

    Thank God for the cheerful images of the happy bees going about their business on the pretty pink roses.

    1. Swans want absolute control of the largest territory possible, and their descendants must inherit it. If I were writing a modern bestiary with morals, I would hold them up as an awful example to humans of how not to behave. But they are only birds, and blameless for following their instincts.

  3. Lovely shots of the individual Grey Wagtails- such a charismatic species.

    Curious as to what the Feral Pigeon was doing in the swan's nest? An attractive ancestral looking bird.

    1. I often see birds poking around in nests, and indeed our young Grey Wagtails are still doing that in the Coots' nest in their territory. No doubt nests are full of fleas, lice, mites and various small creatures attracted by droppings.