Thursday, 22 May 2014

Reed warblers are difficult birds to see as they skulk in the dense reeds, and very hard indeed to photograph. But John Mealyer captured this pleasing shot of one of them in the reed bed near the Diana fountain.

The three Tawny owlets were again visible in their usual lime tree, though I couldn't find either of the adults.

After a while one of them flew to another branch. When I went to take a picture it craned over sideways so it could see me past a leaf in front of its face.

But they are getting less curious about photographers, and will soon take as little notice of them as their parents do.

The palest of the blond Greylag Geese is back on the Serpentine, and was enjoying the long grass which has been left unmown around the daffodils so that their leaves can replenish the bulbs for next year's flowering.

I think the colour of its feathers would technically be described as 'isabel' -- no black pigment and a reduced amount of brown. (This shade is named after Isabel I of Castile, who is said to have vowed not to change her underclothes until the siege of Granada was over; it took most of a year.)

A Gadwall drake preening on the Serpentine finished by flapping its wings, revealing a bit of colour in his sober grey plumage.

The Mute Swan family on the Long Water were also attending to their feathers. When the parents preen, their cygnets all copy them.

Young Egyptian Geese have a tendency to sprawl in strange abandoned attitudes. These are three of the brood of six, resting on the landing stage on the south side of the Serpentine.


  1. You'd think 'Isabel' would have the opposite meaning then!
    Your photo of the young Egyptian made me smile - my puppy lies like that too.

    1. That picture, taken in the rain, doesn't really convey the greyish beige colour of the goose, which is what 'isabel' is supposed to convey.

  2. Some particularly good photos yesterday. Thank you very much, like AmandaB's puppy, my dog lay in the same postion when he was ecstatically happy - even in adulthood. The peering owlet was a great delight and I was very pleased to see both your picture of the Gadwall's wings and John M's of the Read Warbler. Have managed a couple of very short walks locally this last week or so, so let's hope that I am on my nway back to the parks again at last.