Wednesday, 5 July 2017

It was a hot day. A Carrion Crow was cooling off by bathing in the Serpentine.

A Moorhen was basking on the shore.

The Mute Swans were in an irritable mood. A young swan, identifiable by her greyish bill, attacked a senior swan for no visible reason.

The Black Swan cruised into the territory of the dominant Mute Swan at the east end of the Serpentine, and was chased off.

There was a swan in the reed bed beside the Long Water again. At first I thought it was the intruder who has tried to nest there, but in fact I think it's the dominant male swan who had taken over the nest and was using it as a day bed while his mate and the cygnets touted for food at Peter Pan.

A female Mallard with two ducklings has been using this Coot nest beside Peter Pan for several days now.

The Coot didn't like it, and there was a face-off ...

... which ended in the Mallard leaping off the nest and attacking the Coot, which fled.

The Great Crested Grebe chicks from the island had been set down in the water by their father. They can all just fit on to his back still, but it's a tight squeeze and they keep falling off.

A Goldcrest was singing in a yew tree near the bridge.

Most of the songbirds have fallen silent now, but there was a good song from a Blackcap near Peter Pan, too far inside a bush for a photograph.

The female Little Owl was on her favourite branch. Tom discovered that you can get a better view of this awkward place by going inside the tree and looking straight up. The owl looked annoyed, but is used to photographers now and tolerated us.

Male Black-Tailed Skimmer dragonflies usually perch on the gravel-covered tarmac of the paths, which makes for an unclear picture, so it was good to see one on the natural background of a stem.

A Tree Bumblebee was gathering nectar from a thistle at the leaf yard.

The same thistle also had a small banded hoverfly on it. Looking it up, I found that it's a Marmalade Fly, a pleasing name.


  1. The Coot **fled**? From a solitary Mallard?! How the mighty are fallen.

    No wonder the Black Swan chose the better part of discretion and sailed away. That bullying dominant Swan is humongous.Why risk a confrontation with a gigantic bully when nothing is at stake?

    This other Black Swan, though, isn't too fazed by the threatening display of a frigging Shoebill Stork, which is the closest thing to a T-Rex on earth:

    1. What a fearsome creature. I had never even heard of it. They are said to utter a cow-like moo,

    2. They are mostly silent, but when they greet each other they sound like machine-guns:

      There is one of them in a bird zoo in Germany. One of my life's ambitions is to see a cassowary and a shoebill stork.