Sunday, 4 August 2013

There are now 27 Mallard ducklings in the park: 19 on the main lakes and Italian Garden ponds, and 8 on the Round Pond. Here is one on the Long Water enjoying a splash.

The four Mandarin ducklings were also on the Long Water. They are still very small -- and of course will never be very large -- and are still at risk of gull attack. Their mother has the sense to keep them under the bushes most of the time.

A new brood of five Coot chicks has appeared unexpectedly on one of the Italian Garden ponds. As usual, they have completely trashed a lot of water plants, and have even pulled up some waterlilies to make their nest.

The eight Moorhen chicks -- five new ones and three older ones with the same parents -- are still on their pond.

And so are the four Mallard ducklings, though the family had wandered into the same pond as the lone Mute Swan, which was threatening them in a desultory way. Well, they can leave if the swan becomes a serious nuisance.

I saw two Hobbies flying between trees near the Queen's Temple, though they sped off before I could get a picture. In a nearby lime tree, a Magpie was making a fuss. It might have been scolding the young Hobby while its parents were away hunting, but I couldn't see far enough into the tree to make sure.

This young Pied Wagtail is often seen around the Lido, often using the posts and netting around the reed beds as a station from which is darts out to catch insects.

It is odd that it remains here on its own rather than joining the main flock of Pied Wagtails on the Parade Ground.


  1. Today I saw that the coots with the nest near the Peter Pan have only one chick left? There was also 1 single duckling (mallard I think) all on it's own, in turns seeming quite unconcerned grazing algae, and then calling plaintively for its mum (no duck in sight owned up). Last I saw, it swam under the overhanging branches, at least safer than out in the open water.. When feeding some young tits by the leafyard, I noticed how very scruffy one of them looked- too thin, not a lot of feathers. Childhood isn't easy for young birds, is it, even if you make it past the very first phase.

  2. Yes, the Coots have only one chick left. Gulls ate the others, I think. As you say, it's a tough life.