Sunday 6 June 2021

The Chiffchaffs beside the Long Water have four chicks. Here are three of them together on a twig -- thanks to Ahmet Amerikali for this picture.

Their mother's head is looking very worn from the long task of feeding them.

There is another family of Chiffchaffs on the other side of the Long Water, just south of the Vista. This is one of the fledglings.

A family group of Long-Tailed Tits worked its way through the trees looking for insects.

The adults' tails are badly frayed from nesting ...

... but the young ones' tails are in mint condition.

There were loud demands for feeding from the Cetti's Warbler chicks near the bridge, but they were invisible in the undergrowth and I only got a momentary glimpse of a parent coming to the nest.

I gave a Magpie a peanut, hoping I could film it feeding its young one. But the Magpie thought that the young one was old enough to find its own food, leaving it begging and fluttering its wings in vain.

The Coots nesting at the bridge have only two chicks left, not surprising in such an open position. It's not clear whether they are going to hatch the remaining eggs, which were laid much later than their first clutch. A parent arrived to feed a chick and gave some tiny edible item to its mate to be passed on, usual behaviour for Coots. But the mate ate the food itself, and the visiting Coot could only give what was left to the chick.

The Coots nesting inside the boathouse, in a place where any chicks are doomed, have unfortunately started laying eggs. Coots just don't learn from experience.

But just occasionally this blind obstinacy pays off. The pair nesting on the post at Peter Pan, which have quickly lost all their chicks to gulls in previous years, have managed to keep three. These were in a safe place on a branch at the edge ...

... while one of the parents repaired the nest. I don't think they're planning to nest again while they have three chicks. It's probably just Coots' unstoppable nest building instinct.

The Mute Swans nesting at the edge of the Dell restaurant terrace, another place you would have thought was hopeless, have been lucky too though they only have two cygnets from four eggs.

The Greylag Geese with ten goslings have also been very fortunate, and still have all of them.

A pair of Mandarins browsed at the edge of a patch of shrubbery. The female chose the tastiest plants, but her mate didn't seem to fancy them.

Popular plants for bees include White Campion, here visited by a Buff-Tailed Bumblebee ...

... and a Honeybee.


  1. The flower of the last two pictures is not a Cranesbill (Geranium), but White Campion (Silene latifolia)

  2. It's a cheering thought to see so many young surviving. We are exceedingly lucky this year, I think.

    Never fail to be amazed by the sight of the Coot youngsters' feet. It's just out of proportion to their bodies.

    1. Even more so young Moorhens. It puzzles me how they manage to fit into the egg.