Monday, 18 April 2016

Two Swallows and seven Sand Martins were flying around the Serpentine and the Long Water. This is a Swallow. The Sand Martins eluded the camera.

A Grey Wagtail was flying around under the bridge, and perched briefly on one of the piers. This distant picture shows that it was carrying something, possibly nesting material, or perhaps a bundle of insects to feed young -- they seem to be able to go on catching insects while already carrying a beakful. Whichever is true, it's a sign that our Grey Wagtail is not alone, and there is a pair nesting.

The Coots on the nest on the small island in the Long Water have four chicks.

The Egyptian Goose family that I saw yesterday on the Long Water side of the bridge came out on to the shore of the Serpentine.

After I took this picture, they all swam off in the direction of the Lido, which is where Paul saw a family yesterday. I thought there must be two families, but it looks as if there is only one.

The Black Swan had got inside the enclosure on the Serpentine island. He was strutting about and bullying the Canada Geese which like to rest here. This picture was taken from across the lake, but he must have got in on the land side, as there is only one opening in the fence.

The Mute Swans on the Long Water were chasing and fighting near the gravel bank.

Across on the west side, two male Tufted Ducks have been following a female Mallard around for several days. Until now they have been peacefully side by side in this odd pursuit, but now it seems that one of them wants her for his own, and was having a face-off with the other one. The Mallard takes no notice of them.

You will recall that there is also a male Tufted Duck stalking a pair of Mallards just the other side of the bridge.

Three Mandarin drakes flew into a willow tree beside the Long Water, and two of them obligingly posed together.

A Moorhen was amusing itself by climbing around the netting over the reed bed east of the Lido.

Only one Little Owl could be seen, in the lime tree near the Henry Moore sculpture.

When I crossed the bridge, several tits flew up from ground level to be fed, including this Coal Tit.


  1. Saw my first Coot babies at the village pond - lovely critters. When do you expect the first cygnet Ralph (roughly)?

    1. Coot chicks look terribly elderly to me.

      The swans started a bit late, so probably the second week in May.

  2. Mία γὰρ χελιδὼν ἔαρ οὐ ποιεῖ; but perhaps two might?

    Harry Stotle

    ('Nic. Eth.' 1098a.17)