Wednesday, 8 June 2016

The Pochard duckling was at the east end of the Serpentine with its mother and the other female Pochard -- there are only two pairs permanently resident on the lake. This is a top view from the parapet of the little bridge.


Its mother was poking around in the dead leaves at the bottom.


When the other female got too close to the duckling, she was chased off.


The Mandarin duckling and its mother were cruising around near the bridge.


The Mute Swan family in the netting east of the Lido have four cygnets. When I got to them, a violent thunderstorm had begun and all I could see was one sheltering under its mother's wing. At their very early age they have to be kept warm.


At the same time, a second family of Greylag Geese with five goslings strolled up through the pouring rain, alongside the family with a slightly older brood of four.


The Canada Geese with goslings of different ages were here too.


The storm allowed them to graze peacefully without being disturbed by people and dogs.

The geese visiting the lake to moult include this strongly coloured Canada-Greylag hybrid. It is shedding wing feathers at a great rate.


Before the storm, a honeybee was gathering nectar from a wild rose.


And a young Starling was trying to gather scraps from the tables at the Dell restaurant and being chased away, to its great annoyance. It was complaining loudly from a noticeboard.


The Common Terns were on the Serpentine. The female was perched on a moored boat calling to her mate to bring her some fish.


The Little Owls were hard to see in the morning, with the male awkawardly placed on his usual branch and the female in the other tree with her back turned. I couldn't see or hear the owlets, and I think they were inside the nest hole. The male was annoyed by some Magpies and went into the hole too. When I came back later, after the storm, he was sitting outside, as wet as an owl can be. Evidently he would rather get soaked than be pestered by his offspring.

4 comments:

  1. One of the most vivid memories I keep of the first time I visited Stonehenge (a few years ago, back when the driveway was still very near the monument) was the vast number of common starlings loudly chattering their little heads off while trying to make away with scraps from someone's lunch. And lots of them succeeded in it, too. It was the closest thing to being inside the movie The Birds.

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    1. I visited Stonehenge just once, in the late 1950s, when it was simply surrounded by iron railings with a gate you could open, so you could walk among the stones. It was a grey misty morning and the only birds were some Carrion Crows, which combined to give it an august creepiness.

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