Tuesday, 22 May 2018

There is another brood of Greylag Geese, nine goslings. Their parents took them to be with the other two broods of six and four at the Lido. They approached in a slightly threatening posture -- 'Let me in or else.' But they were accepted, and all grazed peacefully.

All the Canada goslings were at the Lido too.

This pair of Egyptian Geese, of which the male has a blond head, have taken to nesting near the Triangle car park next to the bridge. It's not a good place, far too exposed, and they have never succeeded in keeping their young alive. But the male busily chased off a larger goose, a Canada--Greylag hybrid of which there are several in the park.

But Blondie is the blondest of them all. She was preening her ash-grey wings at the far end of the Serpentine.

The Mute Swan family were eating the algae that has grown on the Long Water as a result of the recent warm weather. It's remarkable how the cygnets manage to grow on a diet of this soggy stuff.

The Great Crested Grebes like the algae for another reason. It shelters fish, which the agile grebes can easily catch by dodging amid the strands.

One of the grebe chicks at the island washed and preened and flapped its little wings. The chicks have fairly well developed wings when they hatch, and use them like arms for crawling up on to their parent's back.

The older Coot chicks have now outgrown their peculiar red and yellow heads, and are becoming grey and white.

The net put over the tern raft to prevent birds (including terns, of course) has not been effective. A pair of Coots have simply nested on top of it.

Both the Grey Herons on the lower nest were preening. But I am fairly sure that this nest is no longer active.

A heron stood on an urn in the Italian Garden ...

... in a pose recalling the Doubtful Guest in Edward Gorey's finely creepy book.

A Carrion Crow posed in a tree, doing its best to look fluffy and adorable.

This very brief clip shows  a Mistle Thrush flying low over the head of a Carrion Crow that has come too near its nest.

A Pied Wagtail searched for insects in the debris washed up on the edge of the Serpentine.

There was a Grey Wagtail at the Dell restaurant again. They are certainly nesting under the little plank bridge in the Dell.

Julia got this year's first picture of a young Long-Tailed Tit. It was near the Serpentine bridge.

The male Little Owl near the leaf yard was more visible today. He looked over his shoulder because some crows were squabbling on the ground.

Monday, 21 May 2018

The male Great Crested Grebe at the island washed and shook himself down, then went to visit his mate and the chicks and they had a long greeting ceremony.

The pair at the east end of the Serpentine have been encouraged by seeing the chicks and are thinkig of nesting themselves. One brandished a bit of algae at the other ...

... and brought a large stick. They examined a possible place at the edge of the reed bed.

When they dropped the stick, a Coot came and took it to the nest at the Serpentine outflow.

A Coot on the Serpentine kept pecking one of its chicks out of the way. It was the smallest one, and I thought it was being persecuted, but later I saw the same Coot pecking a different chick, so I suppose it was just exasperated by their incessant demands for food. Meanwhile a Lesser Black-Backed Gull was approaching hungrily, and both parents chased it off.

The recent warm weather has caused a bloom of algae at the north end of the Long Water, but the local Coot family don't mind.

It was also brought out an enormous number of midges. The Mallard with one duckling at the Vista was catching them efficiently, and the duckling was doing quite well too.

The Mute Swan family had come up to the Vista, and the female was looking after the cygnets under a tree while her mate chased off some low-ranking swans.

All was well with the two Canada Goose families on the Serpentine. This is all 15 of the larger brood in a heap togther.

When a dog approached, their parents led them into the water.

The two pairs of Greylags and their goslings were just along the shore.

A Moorhen with nothing better to do nattered quietly in a reed bed.

Grey Herons and Carrion Crows don't get along with each other, and neither do herons with other herons.

Mistle Thrushes really hate crows, which try to eat their young. This one near the Physical Energy statue was scolding a crow on the ground below.

At the Dell restaurant, a Starling waited in the hawthorn tree for a chance to grab some food off a table.

The male Little Owl at the leaf yard was exceptionally well hidden in his chestnut tree, and I could only get a small glimpse of him. But it was good to know he was ther.

Sunday, 20 May 2018

The Blue Tit nesting in the lamp post behind the Lido now has chicks to feed.

It carried a faecal sac out of the nest. The nestlings' droppings emerge wrapped up, a handy way of keeping the nest clean. The parents dispose of this some distance away so as not to reveal the location of the nest.

A Blackbird under a tree near the Dell was collecting caterpillars and insects for his chicks.

The white-faced Blackbird near the Italian Garden, also feeding chicks, came out to get her daily ration of sultanas.

Another sipped water and looked for insects on the edge of the little pool at the top of the Dell waterfall.

At the small lower waterfall, a Grey Wagtail was doing the same. There is almost certainly a pair nesting under the little plank bridge, a place they use every year.

A single Long-Tailed Tit was leaping around in a tree near the Albert Memorial.

The male Little Owl near the leaf yard was at the top of the chestnut tree.

The two Great Crested Grebe chicks at the island are now active and vocal, and are beginning to follow their parents when they dive.

The Coots nesting under the balcony of the Dell restaurant are still waiting for their very large cluster of eggs to hatch. When last counted, there were 13 eggs.

A Coot had made an uncharacteristically soggy nest out of algae near the Diana fountain. Twigs are rather hard to find in this part of the lake, where the edge is partly screen by a long reed bed.

A Grey Heron caught bits of bread being thrown to it at the waterfront by the Peter Pan statue.

The Mute Swan family were also here, getting plenty of food from the many visitors on a sunny Sunday.

The Egyptian goslings on the Round Pond survived a Herring Gull attack and being pushed around by Greylags, and just managed to climb ashore to go and eat grass.

The Mallards on the Long Water have just one duckling left. This picture was takem by Mark.

So do the pair just the other side of the bridge.

Saturday, 19 May 2018

On Monday I had a picture of a Herring Gull just missing a Canada gosling. Joan was also taking pictures here that day, and sent me this dramatic sequence. This time the gull actually picks up the gosling ...

... but it manages to struggle free and its father collects it ...

... and takes it back to the other 14.

I didn't manage to see this family today, as the Lido gates were closed for paid bathing, but there were still 15 yesterday.

Two pairs of Greylag Geese, one with six goslings and one with four, cruised near the Serpentine island. They tolerate each other's presence but, unlike Canada Geese, don't look after each other's brood.

As usual, the Mute Swans on the Long Water had brought their cygnets to the shore at Peter Pan to tout for food from the visitors. Bread isn't good for them, but the park swans seem to survive their indifferent diet.

It's not unusual to see Mute Swans grouping in trios rather than pairs and displaying affectionately to each other. But if they actually started nesting, the spare one would be thrown out.

The Mallard near the bridge has managed to keep her two ducklings alive for another day. Keeping them close to the edge or under the bridge arch helps to shield them from the swooping gulls.

The Great Crested Grebe chicks at the island are getting larger, and there is no longer enough room under their parent's wings for both of them.

One of them was given a tiny fish.

The Grey Heron was back in the nest, sunbathing. But it's only being used as a perch now, and breeding attempts here have failed.

One of the Mistle Thrushes near the Albert Memorial was in a lime tree rattling furiously at a Carrion Crow on the ground.

A small family group of Long-Tailed Tits crossed the path near Peter Pan.

A Nuthatch made a very brief appearance inside the bushes at the leaf yard.

On neighbouring branches, a Jackdaw ...

... and a Jay were waiting to be fed.

I didn't see the Little Owl here, in spite of the warm sunshine which often tempts the male out on to a branch. But Amanada Adams, who has been visiting the tree patiently for days, was rewarded yesterday evening by getting this picture of the female owl, who had emerged from her nest to wait for the people to go away so she could hunt on the ground and drink in the lake.

Friday, 18 May 2018

One of the Mistle Thrushes near the Albert Memorial collected brightly coloured caterpillars for its nestlings.

Above it, a pair of Rose-Ringed Parakeets mated on a twig.

A Pied Wagtail flew out to catch insects from his station on the boathouse roof, and sang occasionally.

A Grey Wagtail was looking for small edible creatures at the water's edge by the Lido restaurant.

A Magpie dried itself after a wash in the Serpentine.

A Carrion Crow dunked some crsips in the lake. Crows like their crisps soggy. Probably also the water washes out some of the salt.

It's hard to know what's going on in the Grey Herons' nests on the island. I think the lower one, which certainly had eggs in it for the second time, has failed again, but there is still occasionally a noise of one chick begging for food in the almost invisible upper nest. But today a heron revisited the lower nest, if only to preen.

The Great Crested Grebes at the island fed their chicks on tiny things, possibly insects snatched off the surface of the lake, and chased off a Coot that got too close.

Coots often make new nests after their chicks have hatched. This one is on the little island in the Long Water made for the Mute Swans to nest on, which the Coots have always wanted for themselves but were chased off. Now that the cygnets are out on the lake, the Coots may get their way.

Another Coot built yet another nest in an impossible place on the edge of the Serpentine.

On Wednesday there was a picture of a Coot which had got into one of the boathouses in spite of their new defences of metal mesh. The people at Bluebird Boats report that there's now a Coot nesting in the other boathouse too.

The Mute Swans were touting for food at the Peter Pan statue. The male saw another swan too close to the family, chased it away, and had a self-satisfied wash. Then the female led the cygnets off to the newly cleared area.

The Greylag Geese brought their goslings to the edge to be fed. They seemed quite happy with ordinary bird seed.

The two Canada families still have 15 and 2 goslings, and were keeping them in the shelter of trees beside the Serpentine.

The Egyptian Geese at the Round Pond stiill had eight young, including the two rescued and returned by Virginia yesterday.

A Mallard near the bridge had two ducklings.

There is a blonde female Mallard at the east end of the Serpentine. These occasionally appear in shades from slightly pale to almost white.

Honeybees collected nectar from the allium flowers in the Rose Garden. We shall never know whether it makes the honey taste of onions, as there are no hives in the park -- though I think there are in Regent's Park.