Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Wrens are building a nest on the wall of the Lido play area. They were carrying leaves around in the ivy, and every now and then the male would run a long the top of the wall, hop into a bush and start singing.

It is probably one of several nests in the area, as male Wrens are polygamous and maintain harems, each female in a nest of her own.

A pair of Goldcrests were also busy in a yew tree next to the path just north of the Henry Moore statue, and the male was singing his trisyllabic song.

A pair of Coots are beginning to build a nest in a clump of irises in one of the Italian Gardens ponds.

If they paused to consider things they would let the irises grow to provide cover. But a Coot's instinct is to chew the plants down to water level. Moorhens are much more sensible and leave the plants standing over their nests. The wire mesh put around the clumps of plants has proved completely ineffective at keeping birds out, and has been smashed down into a messy ruin.

This is what happens to a Coot's nest if it doesn't have proper cover. It was built out on the Long Water north of Peter Pan in a place where an alder tree hung over the water.

The Grey Heron has not only invaded the nest, it is also biting twigs off the tree to provide nesting materials for itself. This is a young bird, and I have not seen it building a nest anywhere. The three heron nests on the Serpentine island seem tro be completely abandoned now.

There are quite a few Red Crested Pochards on both lakes now; these were on the Serpentine near the island, a favourite spot for them.

A couple of days ago I saw six males flying in close formation. Evidently they engage in competitive air displays in the same way as Tufted Ducks.

This Mute Swan is reaching as high as it can for fresh new willow leaves on a tree on the Long Water near the bridge.

A party of swans had come here to eat the leaves, to which they are very partial. The male of the resident pair quickly saw them and chased them back under the bridge.

Willows are a natural source of aspirin. Maybe swans have permanent headaches and that is what makes them so bad-tempered. Probably not.

1 comment:

  1. Amazing photo of the Goldcrest, well done! Puts my artistic efforts for the day into eclipse . . . But I enjoyed myself, too - and was rewarded by one complement: from a fussy, artist neighbour who had come round to borrow my computer.