Friday, 28 February 2014

The first brood of Egyptian Geese has appeared on the edge of the Serpentine near Bluebird Boats. Here their mother keeps them clustered close to a tree to avoid attacks by the numerous Herring Gulls and Lesser Black-Backed Gulls on the lake.

At this time their father had flown off to drive away another pair of Egyptian Geese that had come imprudently close. He would have been better employed guarding his offspring against gulls, but instinct rules.

The pair of Mistle Thrushes nesting near the Serpentine Gallery were attacking a Carrion Crow with loud rattling cries of fury. The crow, one of the usual ones that hangs around here, had experienced this before and took refuge in a twiggy tree so that they couldn't perform their usual manoeuvre of flying low over its head and bashing it in passing. So the thrushes had to settle in adjacent trees and yell at it.

At the Tawny Owls' tree it was the corvids -- Carrion Crows, Jays and Magpies -- that were making loud protests from the branches above the nest hole. The male owl sensibly stayed inside. When I came past later at four o'clock, he still hadn't emerged.

There were plenty of Redwings chattering loudly in the trees at the south end of the Parade Ground. They didn't offer any opportunities for a good picture in the very dim light, so here is a Great Spotted Woodpecker that was in an adjacent tree.

There was a pair of Chaffinches in a tree between Peter Pan and the Italian Garden. The male was in his finest breeding plumage ...

... and the female was also looking elegant in a more subdued colour scheme.

Virginia Grey sent me a splendid picture of a singing male Greenfinch taken a few days ago in the same spot.


  1. What puzzles me about the Egyptian geese, is how do the chicks get down from a nesthole in a tree?

    1. Their mother stands under the tree calling them and they jump. They are so small and light that they can fall any distance uninjured.