Monday, 4 April 2016

There is another brood of Egyptian Geese, five of them, on the Round Pond. Their mother was keeping them in a close huddle sheltered from the chilly breeze.

Another sign of spring: a Magpie was displaying to its mate by fluttering its wings and making a soft and surprisingly melodious call.

Starlings are starting to nest in holes in the two plane trees next to the small boathouses.

Several Nuthatches were singing. They do this from the tops of trees, making it impossible to get much of a picture.

The pair of Dunnocks in the leaf yard were hopping around busily among the leaves and twigs.

A Great Tit posed elegantly on a stick. This is a male, as you can tell from the broad black stripe on his front.

The Black Swan was on one of the reed rafts with his girlfriend and two other young Mute Swans. It was a peaceful scene, at least while I was there.

The blonde Mallard was resting in her usual place on the edge of the Serpentine east of the Lido. Her mate was with her, looking fine and shiny, but he is ordinary and she is not.

A Little Owl was at the back of the hole in the oak tree near the Albert Memorial, barely visible but making its presence felt because there were some Stock Doves flying around in the tree.

The Little Owl in the lime tree near the Henry Moore sculpture was much more noticeable.

But to avoid scaring it I had to make a wide circle round the back of the tree, walk downhill to the front, and turn round to take this picture.  If you confront the owl in this way, it stays calm and just looks at you. If you walk up the hill directly towards it, it retreats into its hole at once.

There is a fox's earth at the west end of the grass to the west of the path from Queen's Gate to the Flower Walk, in the middle of a patch of daffodils.


  1. I really hope this Egyptian Goose brood is more successful than the other broods we've had this year

    1. The park is absolutely saturated with Herring Gulls. which does not bode well.

  2. Could you tell the displaying magpie was the male, not the female? Wing fluttering is more to be expected of breeding females in songbirds as a whole and female great tits have a 'seduction subsong' that goes with. Jim n.L., still avidly following.

    1. You may well be right. The fluttering bird was also jumping around in the tree while the other one stayed still, so I instinctively thought of male display.

    2. I didn't claim either way! As you suggest, the jumping around part doesn't seem female-sexual. I've also seen a solo magpie do this ecstatic fluttering around bare tree branches, I think it was in autumn. I wondered if it to disturb insects, but could see no evidence for this. Jim