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.

Friday, 11 June 2021

The second clutch of eggs is hatching in the Coots' nest at the bridge, with two chicks out and three eggs still to go. One chick survives from the first brood.

The Moorhens at the north end of the Long Water have five chicks, not four as I had thought. The parents are very good at keeping their young hidden among the waterside plants.

The Great Crested Grebes at the east end of the island added more algae to their soggy nest.

A Mallard near the bridge had a single duckling.

Most of the Mandarin drakes are some way into eclipse and look sadly tatty, but this one at Peter Pan was still in fine condition.

A brisk breeze on a warm day helped the solitary Cormorant to dry its wings on a post at the Serpentine island.

The young Grey Herons from the first nest on the island have taken to fishing on the gravel strip in the Long Water. At one time all three of them were there.

It seems that we have another would-be pigeon eater, this time a Herring Gull. It was displaying obvious hunting behaviour in a crowd of Feral Pigeons near the Triangle car park, and had bloodstains on its face.

A Great Tit fed a fledgling near Peter Pan.

There were more young ones in a willow beside the Serpentine. But Ahmet Amerikali got a picture of a Great Tit still building a nest, collecting spiders' webs. Maybe it had lost a brood and was starting again.

He also photographed a Wren collecting insects for its young.

Wood Pigeons poked around in the grass, clearly finding something to eat. A closer look showed that it was clover.

A metallic green Rose Chafer Beetle appeared on a leaf near the bridge. Thanks to Jim for identifying it.

A pair of Red-Eyed Damselflies mated on a patch of algae in one of the Italian Garden fountains.

I've never seen so many Buff-Tailed Bumblebees. They have very definite preferences for plants. Apart from the Lambs' Ears where I saw them two days ago, they like Salvia ...

... and Escallonia.

Thursday, 10 June 2021

A Carrion Crow fed two fledglings on a dead tree near the Italian Garden.

Neil got the first picture this year of a young Blue Tit ...

... and also the mate of the Chaffinch near the Albert Memorial which he photographed last Saturday. Both of the pair are in fine condition and have so far avoided the foot disease which afflicts Chaffinches.

A Grey Heron looked for fish from the fallen horse chestnut tree in the Long Water ...

... and then, just as I was trying to find a better angle, lunged and caught a perch.

The Great Crested Grebes' nest at the west end of the island is a soggy heap of algae. There must be some twigs in it lower down to stop if from falling apart at once.

The rotting mass is full of insects. A Magpie searched for these in the nest on the fallen poplar in the Long Water.

The chick on the Long Water has started following its parent down when it dives. This is how young grebes learn to fish.

The Moorhens at the north end of the Long Water have four chicks. A parent fed two of them, but the other two were already off looking for their own food.

The chicks are strange-looking little creatures, but more attractive to the human eye than Coot chicks.

The moulting geese are now shedding their flight feathers fast. This Canada was falling to pieces as I watched.

A Greylag mother shaded her goslings from the heat of the sun ...

... and defied another Greylag which had got too close to them. Greylags don't have the shared childcare agreements that Canadas negotiate with their neighbours.

Duncan Campbell has been observing the bees in the park. He provisionally identifies this one as an Early Bumblebee ...

... and this as a Vestal Cuckoo Bee, or perhaps a Gypsy Cuckoo Bee.