Saturday 14 August 2021

A Magpie bathed in the Huntress fountain in the Rose Garden. I've put a 10 second lead-in on this video to try to reduce pixelation of the moving water drops.

Starlings milled around eating ants from a nest in the Diana fountain enclosure. I've put a lead-in on this video too so that you can see the ants.

A flock of Long-Tailed Tits mixed with Blue Tits went along the edge of the Long Water. One posed on a mossy twig.

A white Feral Pigeon stared at the camera.

I heard the female Little Owl calling near the nest tree, but she stopped before I could get close enough to locate her.

Mark Williams found what he is almost sure was a juvenile Willow Warbler in St James's Park. But he didn't get a side view, which would have shown the longer and more pointed wings that would distinguish it clearly from a Chiffchaff. It seems to have the correct light-coloured feet for a Willow Warbler.

There were a surprising number of young Lesser Black-Backed Gulls on the lake, perhaps as many as twenty, though it's hard to tell them from young Herring Gulls when they aren't flying. I'm pretty sure that there's a breeding colony in central London now, as numbers have gone up a lot recently. These ones were eating some cornflakes someone had thrown down for them, not the best of foods.

Sad to say, the Great Crested Grebes from the west end of the island are now down to two chicks. The third was attacked by a gull yesterday and badly injured, and the combined efforts of Justina, Alberto, Virginia and Mateusz  were not enough to save it.

One of the survivors was being fed by its mother ...

... and the other shrugged in that way that grebes of all ages do.

The older chick from the other island nest is still in good shape ...

... and it's about time the nest on the Long Water hatched.

The Coot chick in the Italian Garden fountain has now grown too big to get through the netting around the nest. Luckily it's stuck outside the enclosure -- otherwise it would have to be caught and taken out. There's plenty of cover for it in the overhanging water plants.

It nearly got stuck in the net, but fortunately was able to back out. I've had to rescue stuck Coot chicks before now.

The orphan Mute cygnet was peacefully with the four on the Long Water.

The swan in the Italian Garden was in his favourite place on the kerb of a pool, hissing at an approaching dog. He can get out through the railings at the end any time he likes.

Here is the blond male Egyptian Goose back with his mate. The pair's goslings are now more or less grown up and were not with them.

The big pink single Rugosa roses in the Rose Garden have a remarkably long flowering season, and after several months are still attracting Honeybees which roll around ecstatically in the pollen.

The accidental sunflowers at the small boathouse are doing well considering that they are growing in two inches of debris on a base of tarmac.


  1. Brave sunflower! It is a cheering sight to see it grow and thrive in the most unpromising circumstances.

    Sad to hear about the poor Grebe chick. Comforted though in the thought that it was kindly and lovingly treated and many tried to help it.

    Still hoping that the lonely cygnet will be adopted. I think we are getting closer.

    1. I really think that cygnet will get a place in the family by sheer persistence. Also, the very aggressive father shows no hostility to it. But the magic will only last till next spring, when all the cygnets will be turfed out to fend for themselves on an overcrowded lake.