Sunday 6 August 2023

Another grebe chick discovered

A Reed Warbler was hunting for insects to feed chicks in the reeds near the Italian Garden.

The moment when the chick grabs the insect is so brief you can hardly see it.

But Ahmet Amerikali managed to get a picture of the exchange.

The Song Thrushes that are often heard by the leaf yard must still have chicks that need feeding. One of the parents paused under a tree, carrying a worm.

Long-Tailed Tits passed through the bushes near the Henry Moore sculpture.

The female Little Owl at the Round Pond was in a horse chestnut tree, quite hard to find among the leaves.

The female at the Serpentine was in the lime that's their favourite at the moment.

The Great Crested Grebes from the nest opposite Pater Pan have four chicks, not three as I thought. They were all visible when a parent stood up to shake them into the water. They can still only stay in the water for short periods, as they haven't yet grown enough down to keep warm.

At the bridge, the mother brought a fish to the three chicks ...

... but it was a bit too large for them so she ate it herself.

The Little Grebe on the Long Water likes the disturbed water under the marble fountain. Evidently there are more small edible creatures here, though they're so small you can't see what it's getting.

This Coot chick is usually seen on the edge at the island, apparently ignored by its parents. It's old enough to find its own food, but I hope its emotional development isn't harmed by solitude. The chicks at the bridge, which are considerably older, are still in a tight family group.

The invading Mute Swans were resting on the gravel strip at the Vista ...

... while the original residents had been pushed right up the north end of the Long Water. It looks as if a single pair are going to own the whole lake, as has happened several times in past years.

A Pochard drake cruised by near the bridge.

The single Mallard duckling at Peter Pan is now quite big and has a good chance of survival.

A Meadow Brown butterfly fed on the buddleia bush near the bridge.


  1. Do Coots have inner lives, I wonder. Beyond being crazed, dogged, and stubborn, I mean.
    Four Grebe chicks! That must be some kind of record for a single pair!

    1. Coots do at least have an aesthetic sense, as they decorate their nests with red or shiny objects. And they do this while the nest is already in use, so it's not a ploy to attract the female as with a bowerbird.

      I've occasionally come across grebes with five chicks. In 2003 and 2004, before I started the blog, 'Supergrebe' and his mate raised five successfully two years running. The second time was during a heatwave on an exposed, unshaded nest on one of the chains between the posts at the bridge. Even building a nest on a chain was a feat normally beyond a grebe. They were so hot that they swapped places on the nest every ten minutes and dived in the lukewarm water to cool off.