Saturday 29 July 2023

Three grebe chicks

We haven't seen much of the Pied Wagtails recently, but they are still around. This male was on the edge of the Serpentine.

A Rose-Ringed Parakeet in the Flower Walk enjoyed an apple core, including the pips.

The male Little Owl at the Round Pond was in the family's current favourite place in the horse chestnut tree.

At the Serpentine Gallery both the female ...

... and the owlet were close together in the lime, but could only only be seen one at a time from different viewpoints.

The Peregrines were together again on the tower -- or at least as close together as these standoffish birds ever get.

The mysterious strawberry thrower had been busy again. I have never seem him or her in action. A young Herring Gull was pecking doubtfully at a strawberry, but it did eat a bit of it.

A Grey Heron preened on the landing stage with its feathers ruffling in the breeze, then it spotted a dragonfly which it grabbed and ate. The unfortunate dragonfly was a male Black-Tailed Skimmer.

There are three Great Crested Grebe chicks from the nest on the Long Water, as you can see briefly at the beginning of this video. Their parents were taking them on their first excursion, to a good fishing ground so that they could be conveniently fed.

But back at the nest things were getting complicated. The nearby Coots' nest was occupied by a heron using it as a fishing platform ...

... so the Coot family occupied the grebes' nest. I don't think the grebes would have had much trouble evicting the Coots.

The new grebe nest under the willow by the bridge can be seen from the other end of the bridge, but you can't get a clear view from any angle.

The female Mandarin on the Serpentine had moved to the east end, where people were feeding the birds at the Lido restaurant. I still haven't found the teenager, which now looks just like her but still doesn't have fully grown primary feathers.

A Holly Blue butterfly perched on the ivy hedge behind the Lido ...

... and there was a Brimstone on the phlox in the Rose Garden.

A small black bee fed on a ragwort by the bridge. Update: Conehead 54 thinks it's a Large-Headed Resin Bee, Heriades truncorum. That's a new genus for me, as well as a new species.

A familiar Buff-Tailed Bumblebee was busy on the other side of the lake, working its way over the many florets of a buddleia flower.


  1. Interesting footage of the Heron with the unfortunate dragonfly. I have seen photos of similar behaviour before. I think one was of a Great Egret taking a mating pair of Lesser Emperors in the air. Unfortunate as the latter are still quite scarce here.

    Your black bee can't be an Andrena sp as the pollen brush (scopa) is below the abdomen . On the hind legs in Andrena spp. I think it's Heriades truncorum, the Large-headed Resin Bee. The last time I was at the London Wetland Centre I saw at least 3 of them, all on Common Fleabane. This bee likes yellow composites, so the Ragwort would fit with this too.

    1. Many thanks fir the identification -- a new genus for me.

      Luckily there's no shortage of male Black-Tailed Skimmers, which bask on the sun-warmed paths all round the lake.

  2. Insane footage of the Grey Heron pouncing the Dragonfly! I like the way it sways itself while maintaining the focused eye. I wonder if the slow swaying movement is some distraction somehow..

  3. The heron and the dragonfly is incredible! For some reason that pic of the gull with the strawberry absolutely epitomises this summer for me

    1. If it had been raining on the gull with the strawberry, the image of summer would be complete.