Tuesday, 31 July 2012
The Coots nesting in the Italian Garden have five chicks. Thanks to someone using the nickname Alopochen aegyptiacus (the scientific name of the Egyptian Goose) who commented on yesterday's blog post, I was alerted and went to see them today. Both parents are being most solicitous of their new brood, and the male is bringing the female presents of leaves (unfortunately, hacked out of the other plantations in the garden).
The same contributor sent me a link to a splendid close-up he took yesterday; you can find it here.
As I left the Coots, a Kestrel flew over, like a symbol of the dangers facing newly hatched chicks -- though in the case of Coots, it's the big gulls that do the real damage.
A Little Owl was calling from the dense cover of the leaf yard.
Beside the Serpentine, a couple of policemen were guarding an injured Greylag Goose that had been hit by a cyclist as it crossed the path. They had got through to Malcolm, who was on his way. But there is only one Wildlife Officer for all the London Royal Parks, and he would have taken some time to arrive from Richmond through the traffic jams.
The Robin family behind the Albert Memorial brought their two youngsters out to feed on some pine nuts I put down for them. Most small birds are very keen on these expensive things. Here, one of the young birds begs for food by vibrating his whole body, uttering a trilling cry.
A Grey Heron taunted by a pair of Carrion Crows lost its temper and chased them away. A pigeon, caught in the path of the charge, made a hasty exit.