Wednesday 1 September 2021

A Buzzard swept over the Serpentine.

After it had gone, Tom and I noticed that the waterfowl were looking up nervously.

There were five more Buzzards high overhead, going up in a thermal and diving down.

There were also two Hobbies, too far up even for a bad picture. But a couple of days ago Andrew Fowkes found them -- I think these are the two young ones -- perched together in a plane tree near the Old Police House, and kindly sent this video.

All the videos in this blog post are in 4K. I hope this reduces the pixelation caused by YouTube's compression, even if you choose to view them in ordinary HD.

A Common Sandpiper flew down on to the gravel bank in the Long Water.

Tom photographed the female Little Owl in the nest tree.

I missed her, and she didn't come back.

Greenfinches flew into a larch tree near the bridge.

Starlings sang as they waited to raid a table at the Lido restaurant.

They are particularly fond of chips, and perch on the tables looking expectant.

I looked for the Grey Wagtail at the Dell pool, but it wasn't there. A Robin came down to drink on one side ...

... and a Carrion Crow on the other.

A pair of Cormorants performed a courtship display at the Serpentine island.

A young Herring Gull amused itself by ripping twigs out of the disused Coot nest on the post at Peter Pan. The Coots have long since raised their four chicks.

The young Grey Herons in the nest were excited by a parent landing in the top of the tree and made a racket in the hope of getting fed.

A Great Crested Grebe chick fished up a mysterious orange object from the bottom of the Serpentine. We thought it was a segment of orange, but it doesn't seem to be. Update: Tom thinks it might be a dried apricot.

The chick was in a playful mood, and shortly afterwards started picking up leaves.

A Willow Emerald damselfly perched on a twig near the Little Owls' tree.


  1. I'm puzzled: They don't eat dried fruit, right? Are they playing? Perhaps the orange colour drew the chick's attention.

    I cannot get over how tamely and meekly the Starlings look before launching their mass attack.

  2. The grebe didn't eat the dried apricot (if that's what it was). It just played with it and then dropped it. The same with the leaves in the second picture.

  3. Quite a "mega-day" as some birders would put it for the park. 4 Buzzards & the Common Sandpiper is good going for there. Love the shot of the Mandarin looking skywards.

    1. Yes, even Tom -- who goes to all kinds of serious birding places -- was impressed by today.

      It wasn't just the Mandarin eyeing the sky, it was also a whole lot of Egyptians and Greylags -- an odd sight. I just chose her to photograph because she was the prettiest.

  4. The 4K does look much less pixelated than the HD. Your videos are looking really good, very steady and high quality! ~Johanna van de Woestijne in California

    1. Thanks. I'm surprised at how good the Lumix FZ82 (FZ80 in the USA) is for this work -- far better than the much vaunted Nikon P900 series.

  5. Was great to meet you Ralph keep up the excellent work