Tuesday 2 August 2022

A new Grey Heron chick (heard not seen)

The whole family of Little Owls near the Round Pond was on show today: the male ...

... the female ...

... and the three owlets together, though they wouldn't pose for a group shot and this isn't much of a photograph.

Here is a better picture of one of them looking out of a hole, taken later.

However, the owls at the Serpentine Gallery stayed hidden despite three visits.

A young Jay at the foot of Buck Hill hasn't yet learnt that people will give it peanuts, and simply ignored them. It will learn soon enough.

Farther along the path, I saw this bird for a couple of seconds and was puzzled by it. In fact it's a Jackdaw, but crow-black all over without the usual grey head and mantle.

A flight of Long-Tailed Tits fed in a hawthorn tree.

Both the Peregrines were on the tower, for once perched close enough together for a reasonable picture of the pair.

Two Cormorants stood on the shore of the island.

There is a new Grey Heron nest above them, with a chick begging in it. The nest is invisible in a treetop, but you can get momentary views of an adult when it stands up straight.

The young herons from the previous nest were both out, one in the red tree, the other at water level. They will still be going back into the nest to be fed by their parents, who won't feed them in any other place. It's at the top left corner of this picture.

This heron on the Long Water seems to be making a habit of lying down on the Mute Swans' nesting island.

There's a new Great Crested Grebe nest opposite Peter Pan. I thought they'd never manage it. As far as I know there is just one pair on the Long Water and one on the Serpentine, though the latter are making no attempt to nest.

The Coots that nested on the old water filter at the Italian Garden and lost their chicks have reclaimed the nest and may start rebuilding it.

The Moorhens nesting under the weir at the Serpentine outflow both came up and stood on the edge.

I finally found the Tufted Duck with three ducklings on the Long Water. There are fewer big gulls here than on the Serpentine, but she'll still have a struggle to keep them alive. The ducklings' ability to crash dive is helpful. But there was no threat when I was filming them and they remained on the surface.

The single surviving Mallard duckling on the Serpentine is a pretty good diver, though it doesn't have the effortless speed of a Tufted duckling.

An unusual picture by Nick Abalov of a Red Admiral butterfly head on.

The hot weather has brought a new growth of toxic blue-green algae on the Serpentine, and swimming at the Lido has had to be suspended.


  1. I don't think I have ever seen a melanistic Jackdaw before! Come to think of it, I haven't seen a leucistic one either.

    1. I've seen photographs of completely leucistic Carrion Crows, but never one in real life.