Friday, 1 August 2014

You wait for months for Great Crested Grebe chicks to arrive, and then two lots turn up at once. This brood of three is from the east end of the Serpentine island.

And these two are from a nest I hadn't seen, behind the net protecting the reed bed at the east end of the Serpentine.

The reed bed is a very good place for a nest as long as the grebes have the sense to build inside it, where they are hidden and sheltered, rather than attaching their nest to the outside of the net as they have often done. It is very easy for a grebe, adult or young, to get in and out of the net, as it only goes down to water level.

Otherwise it was a day without surprises. The male Little Owl was on his favourite branch, and gave me a cheerful wink.

The Common Tern is still here, and was on one of the posts near Peter Pan, scratching its chin with a small foot.

Terns don't do much walking or swimming, and little legs save weight when flying.

This teenage Mallard at Peter Pan is now three-quarter size, and looks likely to survive until adulthood.

So do these young Moorhens, which were taking it easy on a clump of purple loosestrife in the Italian Garden.

This fine yellow dragonfly is a female Black-Tailed Skimmer. She has a completely different colour scheme from the male, who has a dull blue-grey abdomen with a black tip, and is more decorative than he is.

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