Friday, 24 June 2022

Spoilt Coot chicks

The female Little Owl at the Serpentine Gallery perched at the opposite side of the tree from her owlets to avoid being pestered, and enjoyed a thorough preen.

A fine picture of one of the owlets by Mark Simmons.

The female owl at the Round Pond was out on a horse chestnut branch. 

The pond is an exposed place and the wind is strongest there. She just had to put up with being blown about.

An owlet was visible in a treetop, but leaves were blowing around it so wildly that I couldn't get an unobstructed shot.

Mark Simmonds found a Mistle Thrush on the grass here, collecting insects for its nestlings. A pair has been nesting northeast of the pond for the past few years, though their nest has always been predated.

A young Starling at the Lido restaurant found an insect in a patch of rosemary grevillea, then ate some of the flowers.

A family of Long-Tailed Tits flew around the Rose Garden. This is a young one.

The broom tree in the garden is looking its best.

A Wren beside the Long Water was making a loud fuss as usual. I suppose you only notice Wrens when they're singing or scolding.

The single Coot chick in the nest nearest the waterside at Peter Pan felt neglected, and called plaintively for a parent. Actually it had been fed recently, but it's an only child and spoilt ...

... but perhaps not as spoilt as this chick on the edge of the Serpentine, which someone was feeding with smoked salmon.

The wind made some Egyptian goslings huddle up in the lee of their mother.

A moulting adult was beginning to regrow its flight feathers. The blue wrappings dry up, split and fall off, aided by vigorous preening.

The eryngium behind the Lido is now in full flower, and a magnet for Honeybees ...

... and Buff-Tailed Bumblebees.


  1. Great Little Owl shots again.

    The broom from its shape appears to be the Mount Etna Broom, which can occasionally reach tree-like proportions. It is often seen along the overground parts of the tube network, though less common than Spanish Broom.

    1. Thank you. I did wonder how it had managed to grow to that size. Probably a deliberate choice in a carefully planted garden.

  2. Someone was feeding the birds smoked salmon?!

    IThe words "plaintive" and "Coot" somehow clash in my mind. I tend to associate them rather with "I regret nothing".

    1. Yes, someone was, There's one born every minute.

      Adult Coots certainly regret nothing, because they don't remember it. They seem unable to learn from experience and go on making the same mistakes again and again. But the chicks really do sound plaintive and pathetic, and their little cries cause their parents to find nameless squishy creatures for their delight.