Monday, 11 July 2016

A pair of Reed Warblers were in a tree near the Lido restaurant. So was a Magpie. The male was jumping around and singing defiant short phrases ...

... and between them preening himself.

The preening can't have had much effect on the Magpie. Was he comforting himself in a bad situation, in the same way as a cat washing itself? After a while the Magpie flew away, and shortly afterwards both the Reed Warblers flew to another tree, so their nest can't have been in the first tree -- indeed it is almost certainly in the nearby reed bed. So was the whole display a diversion to draw the Magpie off?

There is a new Great Crested Grebe nest on the Long Water, making three currently on the go here. It is in a reed bed on the west side, opposite the fallen horse chestnut tree from behind which this distant picture was taken.

The Moorhens under the willow near the bridge were building up their nest together.

One of the Grey Herons from the nests on the Serpentine island had ventured on to the Long Water and was standing on a small fallen tree that could just be seen from Peter Pan.

Next to the island, a party of Black-Headed Gulls were taking their ease on the canopy of the little launch, which is called Peter Pan II.

A Starling had just finished bathing in the Serpentine, and was shining in a sunny interval.

The sun also brought out the metallic sheen of a Greenbottle.

The single cygnet on the Serpentine is usually alone when I see it. Its parents seem to have lost interest. It is large enough to fend for itself, and doesn't look depressed.

The Common Tern was not on the Round Pond, but there were a good number of House Martins.

I went past the Little Owls' territory beside the leaf yard three times. The first time, owlets were calling but could not be seen in the ash tree behind the bench. The second time, one was visible in the chestnut tree next to the next tree.

The third time, an owlet was calling in the big field maple tree in front of the bench.

One of the other pair of Little owlets near the Albert Memorial was also calling, but I couldn't see it through the leaves.


  1. I was part of a family party on a pedallo boat on Saturday (*not a thing I thought I'd ever do, but I can recommend it to bird enthusiasts). I managed to persuade people to go and have a look at the parts of the Long Water where there is no pedestrian line-of-sight - the reverse of the island, and waterside of the reed beds. As well as a very good view of the solitary Grey Heron check on the island, we had very good sightings of several Reed Warbler families in the reed-beds to the SW of The Dell. Probably not visible, maybe not even audible, from land; and perhaps feeling emboldened by it!

    1. Yes, it is fun going round the lake in a boat, as we found when we made that film in May. Pity it's so expensive -- though we got a pedalo free in return for a mild plug in the film. Glad to hear that there is more than one Reed Warbler family in the reeds near the Dell. They are really strongly established in the park now.

  2. Preening can be an expression of frustration. I used to have budgies and they would sometimes do it quite furiously when they couldn't get their way.

    1. Hell hath no fury like a budgie scorned.