Friday 5 July 2024

The curious incident of the grebe chicks

The Song Thrush near the statue of Peter Pan is still singing after all the others have fallen silent.

A Jay waited in a copper beech before swooping down to grab a peanut.

A Long-Tailed Tit looked out of a bush behind the Albert Memorial.

Mark Williams took this pleasing picture of a young Robin in the Flower Walk.

It was raining when I went to the Round Pond and the Little Owls had taken cover in the nest tree, where I could hear the owlet begging. Luckily Julia shot an excellent video in yesterday's wind of the owlet looking out of the hole ...

... and a still picture of the owlet with its father in the lime tree.

Rain brings Pied Wagtails to the edge of the pond to hunt in the puddles.

At the northwest corner of the bridge a young Magpie and a parent examined snack wrappers. They are great investigators of rubbish.

The young Grey Heron descended the stairs with easy grace, as if stairs were a normal part of its environment.

I hadn't realised this till today: the elder and younger Great Crested Grebe chicks on the Long Water have the same parents, who must have nested twice in quick succession. This is possible because both parents share duties, taking turns to sit on the eggs and carry and feed their chicks.

The younger chick was given a small fish, which its older sibling didn't try to snatch.

The chick at the Lido was in full cry.

The nest on the chain at the island is still intact.

A pair of Mute Swans took refuge behind the boathouse railings. They had been harried by the male swan from the island, who is one of the top two males on the Serpentine now that the killer swan is spending most of his time on the Long Water.

The darker of the two pale Greylag Geese has a mate.

There is often a family of Egyptians near the Lido. I can't work out whether this is the same family as is sometimes seen at the Vista. The four teenage goslings seem to be the same age.

Another good picture from Mark: a female Emperor dragonfly resting in long grass near the Serpentine Gallery.

The moths in the grass near the Queen's Temple included a Silver Y. Here you can only see the tail of the lower case y on each wing that give the moth its name.


  1. There's about a month's difference between the younger and the older chick, right? Amazing. Such devoted parents.
    Magpies are good investigators of everything they can be evil about, I'd say.

    1. More like six weeks, I'd say. Anyway, an amazing turnaround.

      No, Magpies aren't evil. They are chancers, and that's their strength. Only humans are capable of evil (though I feel that chimpanzees are on the border).

  2. Well said Ralph...I could not agree more...regards,Stephen.......

  3. Lovely to see the juvenile magpie out and about, and am pleased to report two more at St James's Park. (Photos to follow if we can have a dry spell tomorrow!).

    1. We have several young Magpies too, but I hadn't found any doing anything worth photographing till today. Wet till evening if the forecast is to be believed.

  4. There's a good chance the Song Thrush that's still singing is unmated.

    Given yesterday's weather (appreciated having some rain though after a very dry June) good to se a couple of insects still featured. I did see a female Meadow Brown in the garden in a short decent spell.

    1. I did see two Song Thrushes here a few weeks ago. Perhaps just unsuccessful rather than unmated, or maybe the female has met a sad end.

  5. All possible Ralph. I certainly heard at least 2 singing on my local patch this morning.

    1. In fact I saw both of the pair today, so the female is all right. And the male was singing again.