Thursday 3 June 2021

The Chiffchaff family beside the Long Water are putting on a fine show, with the youngsters bouncing around in the trees and calling loudly.

A parent collected insects for them.

There is a Blackcap family in the same place, quieter and tending to lurk in the bushes. This is the mother.

While I was photographing these with Julia, a Jay turned up expecting a peanut. When it had had one, it flew down to the railings and ate all the nuts that Julia had put on them for the small birds.

Farther along the path, a Starling ate an apple which someone had put on the railings for the Rose-Ringed Parakeets.

A Blue Tit in the Rose Garden looked for insects in a white rose.

An ill assorted pair of Feral Pigeons cooled off in the Serpentine.

One of the young Grey Herons from the second nest wandered around the island. It can fly well enough to get out from behind the wire fence.

Two herons climbed around in the willow near the bridge. They seemed to be eating the leaves, surely not part of a heron's normal diet.

A Great Crested Grebe on the Long Water and its solitary chick preened together while waiting for the other parent to bring food.

The grebe nest on the fallen poplar at the Vista has yet to hatch. The later the better, as the supply of small fish is only increasing slowly.

Coots dabbled in the shallow water at Peter Pan to find food for their chicks.

Two Coot nests near the Vista are much too close together. There will be trouble.

One of the Mute Swan cygnets on the Long Water tried to climb aboard its mother. But they're too large for that now, and it fell off.

The Black Swan scrabbled up the slippery edge of the Serpentine -- not one of its more graceful moments.

A Greylag Goose examined a slice of watermelon, but didn't eat it.

The four young Mallards dabbled in the debris at the shore. They are now as large as their mother in the background but still flightless, as their primary feathers haven't come out yet.


  1. The young Chiffchaff is adorable!
    Perhaps Herons self-medicate eating willow leaves, like swans? Maybe they have a headache.

    1. I was thinking along those lines too, but it can be no more than a wild guess. There is a lot of salicylic acid in willow bark, so probably there is some in the leaves too. And creatures do seem to self-medicate -- even ordinary dogs which eat grass when they are feeling sick.