Sunday 17 October 2021

I'm pretty sure we have two female Wigeons in the park, as both yesterday and today I saw one both on the Long Water and on the Serpentine.

The female Teal on the Long Water was still around, here seen asleep next to a Gadwall drake.

A Pochard had a drink at the Vista, showing off the beautiful vermiculated markings on its back.

Paul found a surprisingly large flock of Mandarins at the pond on Putney Heath. There is also a flock of Mandarins in the Isabella Plantation in Richmond Park, but only a dozen or so.

The Black Swan flew down the Serpentine, unfortunately in the wrong direction but I got a distant shot of it coming down in a cloud of spray.

Blondie was on the shore with her new mate. She may have been out-blonded by the new arrivals but she is still one of the park characters, and I have known her since the day she hatched and it was clear that she was paler than other others in the brood.

A Greylag washing on the Serpentine made a big splash followed by a big flap.

A Coot couldn't match that, but did its best.

Another Coot watched two Moorhens fighting at the island, probably intending to join in. Luckily the winning Moorhen chased the other off before the Coot could intervene.

This is one of the two younger Great Crested Grebe chick from the island, now a sturdy teenager and fishing for itself.

The two youngest chicks on the Long Water are still chasing their parents.

A Cormorant perched on an improbably thin twig in a treetop on the island. I have yet to see how they manage to land in these places. They have nothing like the slow flying skills of a Grey Heron and their webbed feet are not ideal for grasping twigs.

A Magpie near the bridge showed off its iridescent feathers.

There is another big stand of ink cap-type mushrooms in the shrubbery at the northwest corner of the bridge.

Paul was coming into the park when he saw something fall out of a tree. He nearly caught it but was very glad he didn't, as it was a pair of Hornets mating. He took a picture of them with his phone.


  1. Ugh, Paul was in real danger of getting stung very nastily.

    The bathing Coot looks so funny. It is certainly doing its best to make as big a splash as possible.

    Love the vivid teal colour on the Teal!

    Even if she has been outblonded, Blondie will always be our darling.

    1. I'm not anxious to repeat the experiment, but I think that if those Hornets had landed on Paul's hand they were so locked in the throes of passion that they would have carried on regardless, and he could have gently dropped them in a secluded spot under a bush. But, as I said, I would not like to try.