Thursday, 24 March 2016

Two Grey Heron nests on the island are now occupied and busy. This is the higher one, with two birds in it.

The lower one had one sitting heron, whose head could be seen from time to time over the rim of the nest. The other one was up in a tree gathering twigs.

It's always a surprise to see what thin twigs these large birds can perch on.

The young Herring Gulls are often seen playing with twigs, dropping them in the water and retrieving them. This one, seen at a distance over the Serpentine, had progressed to the next stage of the game, dropping a twig and catching it in midair.

This play teaches them essential skills in what is grandly called kleptoparasitism -- that is, stealing other birds' food. Any bird seen carrying food is chased and harried until it drops the food, and the gull then dives to retrieve it before it hits the ground -- or, of course, before another gull catches it.

The Black Swan was getting very ardent with his girlfriend. She seemed confused. She is very young and doesn't know what to do.

The diving work (whatever it is) at the east end of the Serpentine continues, and the disturbance has driven large numbers of Mute Swans on to the Long Water, too many for the resident pair to cope with. The insurgents were milling around in a random and occasionally violent manner all over the lake. Here a couple of males try to face each other down on the Long Water side of the bridge.

Unaffected by all this, an Egyptian Goose was enjoying a wash.

I couldn't find any Redwings. But there were some Mistle Thrushes on Buck Hill.

The familiar Green Woodpecker was on a tree near the allotment.

Now that the Wrens have started singing seriously, it is amazing how many there are of them this year. This one was on the south shore of the Serpentine near the bridge, in the shadow of the bushes.

There was a Dunnock on the path near the Italian Garden.

Only one Little Owl could be seen today, the one in the oak near the Albert Memorial, having a bit of a preen.


  1. Lovely pics as always, despite it being such a grey day. And I love the fact that as well as enjoying your photos, there is always something to learn on your blog - including some new words (kleptoparasitism really caught my fancy!)

    1. Thanks for your kind words. If there are any fancy words on my blog, it's usually to make something of dull pictures. Think of a Serpentine Gallery catalogue about the works of one of their more vacuous artists.

  2. It looks like fun and games on the Long Water for at least a week. This came in today:

    Filming will be taking place in Hyde Park on the night of Thursday, 31 March, along part of the Serpentine Road and in the vicinity of the Serpentine Bar & Kitchen.

    During the set-up on Wednesday, 30 March, part of the Serpentine Road will be subject to short-term closures to pedestrians throughout the day. There will be stewards in the Park who will advise of alternative walking routes and provide approximate times of disruption. Serpentine Road will be closed entirely to vehicles and cyclists.

    1. Hmm, the usual protracted chaos policed by hired thugs. I remind them that all commercial activity in the park is illegal and they are on very shaky ground, and walk on to where I want to go.