Thursday 8 July 2021

The dominant Mute Swan who claims the whole lake as his territory takes a very strong line with dogs, especially when one comes near his mate and his cygnets.

The Black Swan was back on the Serpentine, preening. It raised its impressive ruffles.

This is one of the two blond Egyptian goslings, now a teenager, almost fully grown and able to fly. Although its wings are very pale it has a distinctly ginger head, unlike the off-white of other blond Egyptians.

The teenage Mallard near the bridge is inseparable from its mother. As an only child it was brought up with unusual care.

The Great Crested Grebes from the east end of the family are keeping their single chick in the shelter of the electric boat, which not only keeps it safe from gulls but is also a good place to find fish lurking in the shadows.

Two of the three Coot chicks at Peter Pan preened with a parent. The third was wandering around and wouldn't get into the picture.

A Lesser Black-Backed Gull -- I think number four on yesterday's list of pigeon killers -- ate its latest victim in the middle of the Serpentine.

A close-up of one of the Black-Headed Gulls newly arrived on the Long Water.

A Song Thrush in a tree beside the Long Water was being harassed by a Jay.

This is another Jay, the one near the Albert Memorial. It's looking very tatty at the moment and may have been nesting, though I have seen no sign of young Jays.

The permanently angry Wren near the leaf yard is probably also near a nest, which would explain its fury at the local Carrion Crows and Magpies.

A Greenfinch sang in a half-hearted end-of-season way in a holly tree near the Italian Garden.

The Coal Tit in the Flower Walk has been silent for several days and we may not hear from it till next spring.

Juvenile Great Tits in the dead tree near the bridge.

A Vestal Cuckoo Bee worked its way over a Knapweed flower in the wildflower patch at the back of the Lido.

Honeybees visited the spiky flowers of Eryngium. Composite flowers with lots of little florets provide a lot of nectar and pollen without the bee having to waste energy flying -- and also make it easier to film the bee.

A Common Drone Fly (Eristalis tenax) drank nectar from a Field Marigold. As you can see, this hoverfly is a good mimic of a dark Honeybee, but it's much less active on the flower than a bee would be.


  1. Certainly a domineering cob. Just hope he doesn't get attacked by a more aggressive dog when he does this.

    The bee in your video isn't a Buff-tailed. It's one of the cuckoos-note darker wings, less furry (you can see the black chitin shining through in place) & of course no pollen basket. Think it's the Vestal Cuckoo Bumblebee, the most common of these cuckoos & is indeed the cuckoo of Buff-tailed.

    1. Thank you. Just changing the test and the video on YouTube. The idea of a vestal cuckoo is finely oxymoronic.

      That swan is a real bruiser. I've seen him tackling larger and younger dogs.

  2. Very impressive swan and video. Why can't dog owners realize that they harm wildlife?

  3. Well done on the cob. It looks ready, willing, and able to cause real harm if necessary.

    I like the idea of the perpetually angry Wren. A tiny ball of anger.

    1. A few years ago that swan was attacked and quite badly injured by a dog, so its hatred of them is more than that of the average swan -- which is saying a lot.

  4. I noticed 20 or so Black capped gulls on the Round Pond today that were not there previously this year, like sudden migratory arrivals. They seem to have staked out the quieter south/south-eastern side, away from the tourists, crowds, and so on.

    1. They will soon be all round it, and on the lawn between the pond and the palace.