Thursday, 26 April 2018

One of the Great Crested Grebes nesting in the oak tree near the bridge was bringing bits of algae to the nest.

They took a mating break. This video was shot from the bridge, hence the traffic noise.

There's still no sign of hatching at the nest on the island.

A Moorhen walking up the edge of the Serpentine was caught in a tailwind and had one of those Marilyn Monroe moments.

The Coots' nest at the Dell restaurant has survived two windy days, and has been built up considerably. One of the Coots stood up for a moment revealing, I think, ten eggs.

Both Mute Swans were at the nest beside the Lido restaurant terrace. There was a clear view of seven eggs.

A pair of swans were courting on the path near the bridge. The big dominant male was cruising not far away, and being on land made them less likely to be disturbed by him.

Blondie has now lost all her brood. She was back in  her original territory on the south side of the Serpentine, without her mate, looking very sad. It didn't help that this territory now belongs to two other Egyptians, which clearly wanted to get rid of her.

There are still a lot of Gadwalls on the lake. A pair preened on the landing stage at the Diana fountain.

There was just one Mandarin drake here. We haven't seen much of them recently.

In the Lido swimming area, a young Herring Gull played with a plastic buoy.

The Grey Heron in the nest on the island was just visible. On the shore below, five other herons collected around some people who were feeding the swans and geese.

Near the Dell, a Mistle Thrush pulled up a worm.

A Song Thrush was perfectly camouflaged in a patch of debris on Buck Hill.

The shelter on Buck Hill is home to boxing, kickboxing, karate, tae kwon do, kendo, capoeira, mindfulness, Latin dancing, peculiar exercises invented by personal trainers, and a man who has to wrestle with his akita to stop it from becoming his boss.

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Blondie the Egyptian Goose has only two goslings left. She keeps them close, but the gulls are numerous, hungry and fast.

A pair of young Mute Swans were courting on the Long Water. They are too young to breed this year.

These Canada--Greylag hybrid geese, which must be siblings, are very similar to each other. Hybrids tend to be varied in appearance, even within broods.

The white Mallard and his mate flew over the solar-powered boat, which has just been refurbished at vast expense.

There was a brisk west wind today, making small waves that rocked the precariously sited Coot nest next to the Dell restaurant. It was still holding together. The sitting bird's mate brought another stick to reinforce it. There are six eggs in the nest.

The Coots in the Italian Garden pond have abandoned the nest they built in the reeds. It may be too open a spot for them, not helped by the fact that they demolished much of the cover themselves to make the nest. Now they are trying to make a nest under the fountain, where there is indeed space but they have never been able to attach the nest to anything and have always failed.

No sign of hatching yet in the Great Crested Grebes' nest at the island. As soon as chicks emerge they will climb on to the parent's back, and he or she will sit with wings slightly raised.

Above them, the Grey Heron is still sitting, looking out from the nest with one eye.

The miniature landscape of the Dell makes these Moorhens look as big as ponies traversing a rocky mountain pass.

Blackcaps are singing all round the Long Water.

The Song Thrush near the bridge was also performing well in a copper beech.

One of the Nuthatches in the leaf yard posed on the trunk of a big tree.

The usual Jay beside the Serpentine was annoyed when I delayed feeding it so that I could get a picture with a pretty background of blossom.

The Starlings waiting to raid the tables at the Lido restaurant were joined by a watchful Carrion Crow.

At this time of year you often see Rose-Ringed Parakeets in the grass eating dandelion leaves ...

... and it seems that Wood Pigeons also like them.

We've not been seeing much of our Little Owls recently while they've been nesting. But Neil has been in New Zealand and has sent this video of a Morepork, a small owl named after its cry. Its appearance is preceded by a brief view of a New Zealand Fantail.

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Blondie the Egyptian Goose has already had one brood this year, and quickly lost them to the circling Herring Gulls. Now she has another, but probably they won't last long. There were 83 gulls on the Serpentine alone a couple of days ago.

The Mute Swan nesting next to the terrace of the Lido restaurant looked disapprovingly at a Grey Heron which had come too near.

When she stood up to preen she revealed seven eggs in the nest, though they are hard to see among the white feathers.

The stubborn Coots persist in building a nest at the top of the weir at the outflow of the Serpentine, though every year all the chicks are swept away. They never seem to be able to climb back up the sloping plank which was put there in an attempt to save them.

A pair at the east end of the Serpentine were eating each other's parasites. This is probably the pair I videoed doing the same thing in the same place two days ago. There are always plenty of parasites to find.

The Great Crested Grebe at the island sat peacefully on her eggs. The pair started nesting at the beginning of the month, so we should be seeing some little stripy chicks soon.

The nesting Grey Heron in the tree above could just be seen sitting in the nest, but it didn't make a photograph. So here are four herons on the posts at the Vista.

A throng of Carrion Crows flapped around in the Diana fountain enclosure. I couldn't see what had caused them to collect here -- it didn't seem to be food, as the only people near them were trying to shoo them away.

A crow had been bathing in the Long Water, and flew up into the dead willow to dry. A good deal of preening and flapping and hopping around was necessary.

At the bottom of the tree, a Wood Pigeon looked out from a branch.

There is almost always a Stock Dove in the hole in the horse chestnut tree near the Queen's Temple where the male Little Owl used to perch.

We're hoping the owl is with his mate in their nest hole in the sweet chestnut tree. The disappearance of all three pairs of owls is a hopeful sign that there will be some owlets next month.

On the grass to the east of the Dell, a Mistle Thrush pulled up a worm.

A female Blackbird was also foraging here. This picture shows her typical thrush markings, which are not obvious because they are in two shades of dark brown.

There was a good view of a Wren on a bramble at the foot of Buck Hill.

A Blackcap sang in a Chinese privet tree near the bridge.

A couple of Long-Tailed Tits passed through a nearby tree.

Monday, 23 April 2018

The new metal barriers in the Italian Garden ponds, which were probably meant to stop Coots from nesting and ripping up the plants, have as usual proved no obstacle. The Coots just dive under them.

There are two pairs of Moorhens nesting in the trees near the bridge -- or at least trying to nest. This pair started a nest here a few weeks ago but couldn't make it stick. It seems unlikely they'll succeed this time.

In the same place, by squatting down and shooting through the railings, it's just possible to get a very obstructed picture of the Great Crested Grebes' nest in the oak tree.

On the island, a Mute Swan preened above the grebes' nest.

The nesting Grey Heron is almost always standing in the nest when I see her. She does seem to be sitting on eggs ...

... but is uncomfortable and restless and keeps getting up and turning them.

A heron at Peter Pan looked up expectantly at someone feeding the ducks.

This one had got into deep water near the bridge. It was nearly afloat.

A Grey Wagtail looked for insects in a patch of slime near the Lido, probably quite a productive place.

There was a brief glimpse a few House Martins flying over the bridge.

A Magpie in a treetop overlooking the Dell displayed and called to its mate ...

... which was some distance away, invisible in a large messy nest, but called back.

This Jay is now always waiting for me when I come under the bridge. It will fly down and take a peanut from my hand.

Several Carrion Crows seemed to have found some interesting titbits in the border of the shrubbery here. I've never seen them foraging here before. Perhaps there has been a new hatching of insect larvae here.

A Mistle Thrush foraged in the grass near the Dell, but it was a Song Thrush that first found a worm. Sorry about the shaky video at the end -- it was shot at extreme range.

A Blue Tit looked out expectantly between the new leaves.

A Great Tit called to make sure I didn't overlook it.