Friday, 13 May 2022

Coot chicks growing up

A Blackbird sang in a treetop above the Flower Walk. Each phrase is slightly different from the one before, unlike a Song Thrush which is happy to be repetitive (see yesterday's blog). 

A Starling on Buck Hill picked insects out of the grass to feed its young in a nest in the eaves of the shelter.

A close-up -- I don't know what this creature is, and it might be a spider.

One of the Robins nesting near the bridge was looking very ruffled from feeding its nestlings.

The two Pied Wagtails that visit the fountains in the Italian Garden aren't a pair and aren't nesting, unlike the Grey Wagtail which is always collecting insects for its young.

A dramatic picture from Virginia of one of the Coots in the Italian Garden seeing off a Grey Heron that was threatening the chicks.

One of the chicks jumped off the fountain kerb on to the pavement and seemed unable to get back. The kerb is about 10 inches high. I put a small log next to it for a step up.

The chicks on the Serpentine are now quite large, but are still calling loudly to be fed.

The two families of Canada Geese that had their goslings mixed up yesterday have sorted them out. Goslings certainly recognise their mother, but I'm not sure about recognition the other way, as Canadas here have sometimes accidentally adopted and brought up Greylag goslings.

The Egyptians that unwisely came up from the Dell still have seven goslings.

The male of the pair in the Italian Garden was alone on the parapet, which probably means that his mate is nesting in a nearby hollow tree.

There is now a small permanent Gadwall population on the Serpentine. He fed while she preened.

A pair of Tufted Ducks on the Serpentine dived for food -- snails, insects and larvae and some water plants.

It's hard not to think of Duck à l'orange.

There is still no sign of cygnets on the Mute Swans' nesting island on the Long Water, and I am getting worried about them. Joan Chatterley sent this pleasing picture of the six cygnets at St James's Park, now growing fast.

Allium flowers of various colours have come out in the Rose Garden. They are very popular with Honeybees.

An interesting picture of midges mating sent by Duncan Campbell. Both of them seem to be infested with small orange-brown mites.


  1. What may have gone wrong with the nest at the Long Water? Stolen eggs?

    What a brave and courageous creature a Coot is, to stand up so against a Heron. The fury etched in its face is almost human.


    1. I don't think eggs have been stolen from that nest. There are nests on land where you could steal eggs without having to wade out to the island. Also, the female swan has been faithfully sitting on something for a long time -- too long.