Saturday, 26 March 2016

There are very few Chaffinches in the park, so it was a surprise to see a female at the back of the Lido. She dashed past holding a feather, and is clearly building a nest, but I only managed to get a picture when she reappeared from inside a bush.

Sadly, all the Chaffinches in the park seem to be infected with the virus that causes scaly growths on their legs and feet. They can live with this condition for some time. But is it reducing their lifespan so much that the species is fading out of the park?

I haven't seen the Coal Tits in the leaf yard for several days, but one turned up to be fed today. Their song can be heard deep in the bushes here, and probably they too are nesting.

Both Grey Heron nests on the island remain occupied. On the lower nest the sitting bird got up to turn the eggs, and then settled down comfortably again.

It's less clear what is going on in the upper nest, which is hard to see behind twigs.

The Black Swan was with his girlfriend, but they were not doing anything beyond making a picturesque couple.

He is not the only swan to prefer his girlfriends young.

The white Mallard drake swam past unconcernedly.

This beautiful blonde female Mallard seems to be a new arrival on the Serpentine. She has a normal coloured mate.

A Red-Crested Pochard at the island, cruising with his mate, suddenly and for no visible reason lost patience with her and chased her away.

A pair of Mandarins may be nesting in a hole in the willow tree near the bridge. Yesterday Virginia Grey took this fine picture of them resting on the leaning trunk.

On a dim grey day, it was a surprise to see the Little Owls in both the oak tree near the Albert Memorial and the lime near the Henry Moore. This is the first of them.

They had had an Egyptian Goose walking over the top of their nest hole, but it was too big to get in a presented no threat.

A Magpie had found a discarded pizza box and was eating tomato and mozzarella from the greaseproof paper.


  1. First for us - kestrel in the pear tree yesterday in the garden. Also much enjoy the handsome jackdaws eating suet balls on the grass by holding them firmly with one left food while stabbing them vigorously with their beaks.

    1. How splendid to have a Kestrel in your garden.

  2. A coal tit fed from my hand for the first time in Friday, plus I saw and photographed the Little Owl in the oak near the Albert Memorial for the first time, so it was a good visit. I also saw a male chaffinch at the east end of the Leaf Yard (didn't realise they were scarce in the park, what a pity)

    1. Well done. I really don't know what's happened to all our Chaffinches.