Tuesday, 26 August 2014

On a grey damp day, half a dozen Swallows were swooping low over the Serpentine to eat their fill of insects before continuing their journey south. The House Martins have already left.

The Hobbies evidently knew about these visitors, because the whole family of four flew between the lake and the Round Pond several times. I didn't see them take any, but this one was looking down with keen interest.

The Moorhens in the Italian Garden, which have already had two broods of chicks, have just produced another, this time on the northeast of the four ponds. I could see three chicks, though there may have been another lurking in their nest in the reeds.

The sole survivor of the second brood, until now favoured with both parents' attention, is now being chased away. It is large enough to look after itself.

The Great Crested Grebes nesting on the east side of the Vista still have two chicks, both of which were visible today. Here their mother brings them a fish too large for them to swallow. After a while she ate it herself and went off to find something more suitable.

There are now nine Great Crested Grebe chicks: four on the Long Water and five on the Serpentine. This is the best total for several years.

There were a lot of Common Pochards on both the Serpentine and the Long Water. They will spend the winter here, along with the few Pochards that are permanent residents.

After a few days' absence the male Little Owl was back in his usual place, sitting out in the drizzle. He doesn't mind being rained on but goes into shelter when it is windy.

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