Thursday, 6 March 2014

A Great Spotted Woodpecker was drumming in the leaf yard.

There is a group of dead trees near the southwest corner of the enclosure that these birds like, and two pairs have been seen in previous years.

A pair of Greylag Geese were mating on the Serpentine.

Their attempts at breeding are often foiled, since the park staff are trying to keep their numbers down and, if they find a nest, prick their eggs to make them infertile. However, usually at least one couple manages to elude them and raise a brood.

The Egyptian Geese are under no such constraint, as they nest in holes in trees well out of harm's way. There are over 40 of them at the Round Pond, undeterred by the fence set up around it while the edge is being repaired. Here is a fine picture taken by Virginia Grey of two of them having a disagreement.

There are only half a dozen on the Serpentine, including some survivors with angel wing, and a pair on the Long Water who graze the new turf under the Henry Moore statue. Two of the Serpentine birds are often seen on the little pond at the top of the waterfall in the Dell, which they are sharing here with a pair of Mallards.

The two Little Grebes are now often in the netting on the east side of the Long Water about 50 yards from the Italian Garden, where a pair nested and bred several years ago. It's too far away for a good picture.

This one dived under the netting and there was a loud kerfuffle as it surfaced, perhaps deliberately, under a Moorhen, which took to the air squawking indignantly.

There were no small birds to be seen in the fenced-off area at the bottom of the Parade Ground. This was not surprising, as a Sparrowhawk was passing over. It was harassed by a Carrion Crow. Sadly, I couldn't get a shot of the fast-moving aerial dispute.

The male Tawny Owl was still inside his tree when I last passed by at 2.15. Probably he came out later. Two of the Jackdaws were strolling around under the tree.


  1. Hi Ralph
    I'm interested in seeing the Tawny Owls next week, I remember a few years ago they used to be along the path up from the Physic Statue . Obviously I wouldn't expect you to publish nest sites on a public forum but was wondering if that's still the case .

    1. They are still in the same place, and the nest site is far too well known to conceal. Go to the bench halfway between Physical Energy and the Speke obelisk, on the west side of the path, and head west for 50 yards. There is a beaten path in the grass made by the feet of owl watchers -- that's how well known they are.

  2. Thanks Ralph , yes they are very well known. I thought they might of moved , hadn't been for a couple of years . The last time I went they were in an Evergreen Oak closer to the Albert Hall . Wasn't sure if that was still the same.
    regards Mark

  3. Hi Ralph, just wandering if you meant Virginia Grey not Victoria as the credit to the Egyptian Goose picture. I only ask cos I know Virginia is a regular photographer of these at Kensington Gardens and has some pictures on her own website . It seems to me to be too much of a coincidence to have at same place with same interests two people with almost identical names. By the way keep up the good work, I enjoy reading your blog daily and like the pictures you publish. Living in West London I quite often visit Hyde Park and Kensington gardens so hopefully will bump into you one day. If you are interested you can see some of my photos on Flickr
    Kish Woolmore

    1. Excellent pictures. If your garden birds include Red Kites, you must have a pretty big garden. Are the Mistle Thrush and Blackcap on the famous tree next to South Ealing Station?

    2. I suppose that the air space above my garden still counts as my garden so any thing seen in the sky above is in my Garden presumably....Yes its the tree by South Ealing, the thrush and blackcap were taking turns with the Waxwings.

  4. Do any Egyptian Geese with angel wing breed?

    Also re Carrion Crow aerial combat call. Translate as "have at ye"?

    Jim, n. London

    1. Two of the Egyptians on the Serpentine seem to be a couple, but presumably they can't fly into a tree to nest.

      Carrion Crows remind me of jeering little boys, and you could translate their call as 'Yah boo sucks'.