Monday, 25 August 2014

On a very wet Bank Holiday Monday there was almost no one in the park, which changes the bird population quite noticeably. There were at least 60 Wood Pigeons on the grass around the west side of the Vista, which would normally have been thronged with people. I saw three Pied Wagtails on the edge of the Serpentine. This one was running around inside the deserted enclosure of the Diana fountain. It is a juvenile, probably the one we have seen in this area before.

The enclosure also contained some Herring Gulls prospecting for worms. Normally when they do this they patter their little feet on the ground to simulate the noise of rain and so attract the worms to the surface. But this time real rain was pelting down and there was no need for fakery.

Three Hobbies flew from Hyde Park into Kensington Gardens and one of them was visible on the usual tree.

There are actually two broods of Great Crested Grebe Chicks on the Long Water, not one that moves around as I had thought before. One parent, from the nest on the east side of the Vista, was keeping its wings tightly clamped down on the chicks but I think there are two of them. The other family, opposite Peter Pan, certainly has two.

The nest is quite invisible but must be somewhere near this bush on the east side of the lake.

During a brief pause in the downpour the three grebe chicks from the island came out from among the moored pedalos, where their parents had been hunting fish sheltering under the boats.

The pair of pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gulls were at their favourite lookout post on the roof of the Dell restaurant, taking a few minutes off from their endless hunt to have a preen.

Three of the seven young Mute Swans from the nest on the Long Water were pecking busily at some submerged delicacy. All I could see there was some tough, inedible plane leaves.

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