Thursday, 2 June 2016

There is a new family of Greylag Geese on the south side of the Serpentine.

The Mute Swans at the Dell restaurant still have their three cygnets, but the pair on the Long Water have lost another one and are down to four.

The Black Swan was on the Serpentine with his girlfriend.

On a cold June day there was only one group of people eating on an outside table at the Dell restaurant, and the local Starlings had collected around them waiting for an unguarded moment so that they could rush in and grab some pizza. This is a young one perched on the railings.

There is also a family of Moorhens with five chicks on a raft near the restaurant.

The Great Crested Grebe chick at the island is still doing well. It had crept forward under its parent's wing to look out for arriving food, and was about to fall off.

Four Grey Herons were lined up on the posts at the island, and there were several in other places.

A Great Tit was feeding a chick beside the Long Water.

This grubby-looking Coal Tit has been in the leaf yard for at least a week, and comes out confidently to be hand fed. It takes a while for Coal Tits to get used to people, which suggests that it is actually one that knew us already, and has become tatty as a result of nesting.

A Carrion Crow perched in the top of a lime tree beside the leaf yard, and was buzzed angrily by a pair of Jackdaws with a nest lower down in the tree.

One of the Little owlets was visible in the morning, and Tom took this good picture of it.

I arrived just after it had gone back into the hole. I did get a rather dark picture of the adult male later, but again Tom got a better one, and here it is.


  1. I had thought that no gull could get past a Mute Swan to get at their cygnets. Or was it predation by a fox?

    Very happy to see that pretty tiny stripey head getting bigger, and thus safer, every day.

    1. Unlikely to be a fox on the little island. Disease, accident, another swan?

  2. Would another swan kill someone else's cygnet? Sometimes Nature is much too hardcore.

    Last Sunday we were watching a place near the river where many species of herons congregate. There were many chicks, all of them loudly clamouring. One apparently sleepy Night Heron suddenly surged to life, grabbed an unfortunate Cattle Egret chick by the neck, and tried to swallow it whole. I'm still to recover from the shock.

    1. I'm afraid that the answer is yes.

      Herons will try to swallow almost anything. I have seen one of our Grey Herons trying to eat an adult Moorhen. Don't think it succeeded -- the last I saw of it was the ravenous bird flying off with a pair of yellow legs dangling pathetically from its beak.

    2. Last night's BBC Springwatch programme had some extraordinary footage of a grey heron eating its own dead chick.

  3. Darn. They should stick to rabbits and rats (I'm sure rabbit fanciers will be as upset at the thought as I am, though).

    Rehabbers here tread very, very carefully around herons.