Sunday, 17 April 2016

There are two more broods of Egyptian Geese. This one was at the northwest corner of the bridge, where the Mute Swans like to rest.


The other one was reported by Paul Turner at the Lido, but the family were out of sight when I passed.

Paul is now certain that the Mute Swans on the little island in the Long Water have at least four eggs, and has a photograph showing some of them. However, the main event on this island is the first sight of baby Coots in a nest on the side facing the Italian Garden.


This Canada Goose has been sitting on the tern raft on the Long Water for weeks. It is certainly a female, as her mate has been circling the raft defensively and chasing off swans that get too near, as in my photograph on Wednesday. She can certainly get out of the enclosure if she wants to, as Canadas can take off after a couple of steps forward. Is she sitting on eggs? No one I have spoken to has ever seen her stand up.


The Black Swan was having a peaceful day after yesterday's skirmish on the island. He was with his girlfriend at the Bluebird Boats platform.


A female Gadwall was fast asleep, allowing a view of her delicately marked plumage.


But a resting Red-Crested Pochard drake looked at me warily with a bright red eye.


The Green Woodpecker making a nest hole in the plane tree near Physical Energy was also having a rest during his considerable labour.


A Nuthatch in the leaf yard paused before flying down to take food from the railings.


There was a very brief glimpse of a Little Owl looking out of the chestnut tree.


But the one in the lime tree near the Henry Moore stayed out, staring at me impassively. He is definitely getting less nervous about photographers, and so he should, as his hole is a safe 40 feet above the ground.


However, the Little Owl in the oak tree near the Albert Memorial was having a hard time with a Magpie. The branch with a hole also has a hole in the top -- you can see the light coming through, so they were staring straight at each other.

16 comments:

  1. Hi Ralph, I was walking in the park this morning and just past the tunnel going towards the Henry moore statue there was a family of egyption geese. one of the adults accidentally trod on one of their babies, which left it struggling to walk. after being fed some bread the parents and rest of the babies headed towards the water leaving the injured one alone. there was a swan close by and surprisingly it was scared off by the tiny baby! the baby gradually made its way towards the path where I was standing. (by this time there was quite a crowd watching). all a bit concerened for its safety. The parents seemed to be confused as if they were looking for the missing baby but then headed back along the water. a lady managed to pick the baby up and I walked with her just under the tunnel and to the waters edge where the family were, she put the baby into the water several times but each time it swam back to us on the path! a couple I was speaking to said they were in no rush so I walked towards the Henry moore statue and headed around the park looking for a park keeper but sadly there was no one about. just wondered if you had seen or heard anything about this today?

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    1. I did notice that one of the little Egyptian seemed a bit lame, although its leg wasn't broken. I fear that any injury at this stage of life will doom a chick.

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    2. I know it is nature but I wsh there was a park keeper who you could report to when you see injured wildlife in the park. I agree I did not think its leg was broken and it could swim. I would have liked to have known if anyone else had managed to seek help. It is sad to think what might have happened to it!
      My husband and I are still having no luck finding the owls. we tried to find the one in the lime tree near henry moor statue a couple of weeks ago but no luck. do they come out later in the day?

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    3. There is someone, the Royal Parks Wildlife Officer: 020 7298 2000.

      You just have to be lucky with Little Owls.

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    4. Thank you I will put that number on my phone contacts for future!
      we will just have to keep looking for the owls!
      Your pictures are amazing!

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  2. Male Green Woodpeckers are supposed to have a red middle to the moustachial stripe, was that ever showing? Jim n.L.

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    1. No. The camera shows more than I could see. They are making their hole, quite correctly, on the NE side of the tree, out of the prevailing wind and rain, and also in shadow.

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    2. So both the male and female are excavating it? Jim n.L. - clearly out-nightowled.

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    3. Evidently. I suppose that if you have to make a house every year by chewing it out of a tree, a bit of help is welcome.

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  3. We must have been just out of sight of one another on Sunday, as I saw pretty much what you did, without seeing you. I was very taken by the male gadwall swimming at a decent lick with his nictinating eyelids down, looking like a bird version of Beckett's Hamm . . .

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    1. I think they can see indistinctly through the nictitating membrane, so they are not travelling blind.

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  4. I had tended to look for the Little Owl near the Albert Memorial in his hole - i would have walked away disappointed yeserday if another owl-watcher had not pointed out that he was in the crook of the branch, next to the trunk - perfectly camouflaged and almost invisible!

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    1. Well done. He can sometimes be seen on other branches too, so it's always worth while walking round the tree.

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  5. I love your updates. I saw the 5 Egyptian goslings yesterday. They all seemed healthy enough. Here's a link to my snap on Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/69560007@N05/25900233974/in/datetaken-public/

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    1. Thanks. They're all fine today, Monday.

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  6. That's great news! I will try to get back to see them next week.

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