Friday, 13 July 2012
Another Moorhen family has emerged from one of the benches at the edge of the Vista. I could see only two chicks.
Some visitors were feeding them with nasty-looking snacks out of packets, but Moorhens will eat anything. There is already a family of Coots here, and competition for food was brisk. Seeing this, the Mute Swans from the Lido muscled in with their seven cygnets and the small birds were driven into the long grass.
While I was passing the Serpentine island, a brisk wind got up. Here the Greylag goslings shelter in the lee of their mother.
The Reed Warbler at the bottom end of the Serpentine was singing loudly, but as usual remained invisible in the thick reeds.
In the Diana enclosure, a flock of Starlings was running around on the grass looking for wireworms. Suddenly they took off and rushed into a tree. The pigeons nearby also fled to cover. I looked around to see why, and there was the predatory Lesser Black-Backed Gull gliding in over the fence. It took a couple of turns around, looking for stragglers, and then sloped off to the Lido restaurant in search of scraps. It settled in the water but was promptly chased away by a Coot, so back it came, patrolling the edge of the lake as far as the bridge. And so to the Diana fountain once more, and the Starlings, which had returned to the grass, were scattered again.
This is the same pigeon-eating gull as shown in yesterday's photograph. There is only one Lesser-Black Backed Gull in this corner of the lake, which makes it easy to see how it patrols its territory.
There was hunting on a smaller scale beside the Long Water.
There are always a lot of ladybirds in this area. They have a nest in the public lavatory near the Italian Garden, and in cold weather you can see them trotting all over the walls.