Saturday, 18 June 2016

There is a new Great Crested Grebes' nest in a fallen poplar tree on the west side of the Long Water.

You can get an indistinct view of it through leaves by standing in the semicircular viewing area at the bridge and looking left.

Another pair of grebes were carrying weed next to the Bluebird Boats platform.

Are they building a nest under the platform, in the gap at the back of this picture? It would be a safe place, but it seems unlikely that there is anything in there to attach a nest to.

The two Greylag families with four goslings each came ashore east of the Lido.

In the confusion, one of them picked up another one's gosling.

But it didn't matter, as they all trooped off to the goose nursery and joined the crowd.

All the Greylags and Canadas were on the south side of the lake, leaving the north shore to an unbroken line of Egyptians.

A Mallard had eight ducklings, and was wisely keeping them under the bridge.

There is a pair of Mallards here who are considerably better parents than the others, and in recent years have usually got a couple of ducklings through in spite of the gulls. I think this is the female of that pair.

I was out early, and the Black Swan was still asleep. But when I came past he opened one eye and came over to be given a biscuit.

A Moorhen at the east end of the Serpentine was feeding one of the chicks.

I first passed the Little Owls' trees before 7 am, and got a dark and grainy picture of the female on her usual branch in the uphill tree.

Later, the owlets came out to the front of the nest tree. One of them yawned.

Here is a much better picture taken by Tom a couple of days ago of one of the owlets next to its father. It shows the different in appearance between young and adults. In difficult viewing conditions, one thing is certain: only adults have white spots on the top of their head.

One of the Little Owls from the oak tree near the Albert Memorial was briefly visible, flying into another tree.


  1. That was so early today, Ralph. What was the weather like today in the park? Is that a concern when it comes to selecting an appropriate hour to visit the park? (I do not mean to pry or be inquisitive.)

    1. Far too early for comfort, but I have other things that need doing. Sunday and Monday will be similar, then I can relax. Early visits to the park might be better for some sightings -- though I saw nothing remarkable today. But. even in summer, the light is not good enough for decent photographs until 9.30 or 10 am.

  2. It's a credit to geese that the families feel comfortable associating like that, where ducks or swans would risk infanticide from higher-ranking parents. Or is it just that the geese are in less competition for feeding space? Jim n.L.

    1. There's enough feeding space for all of them. I think it just is that geese are gregarious and fairly even-tempered.