Saturday, 15 April 2017

There is another family of Egyptian Geese at the west end of the Serpentine, near the bridge. There are eight goslings. The adult with the pale head is, unexpectedly, the father, which means that he has a double dose of the sex-linked recessive gene for blondness. Three of the goslings are pale.

These Egyptians are clearly not superstitious.

The Mute Swans nesting on the little island in the Long Water have eggs, though I haven't been able to see them myself and owe this information to Jorgen. It's a difficult place to see, and impossible to tell how many there are.

The swan nesting on the raft was sharing its space with a Canada Goose, which again is unusual but everything seemed to be peaceful.

It's a busy place. The Coot family are only feet away. In addition to the chicks photographed yesterday they still have three unhatched eggs. Thanks for Virginia for this excellent photograph.

The Coot nesting on the platform of Bluebird Boats stayed in her nest when the electric boat was moored to the cleat nest to it. She has two eggs so far, a reason to stay.

The female Mandarins have been invisible for some time, presumably because they are nesting. This one turned up at Peter Pan. Maybe the nest failed or was predated.

The Bar-Headed Goose is still here, and was in the middle of the Serpentine with some Greylags. It may have been here for some time -- in spite of its bright plumage it's easy to overlook at a distance when surrounded by other geese.

A Cormorant caught a perch under the marble fountain of the Italian Garden.

The Grey Herons in the nest on the island are still together and clearly occupied by something in the nest. It must be at least one chick. But still there is no sight or sound of it.

This is the young heron that was rescued last year, in the Dell looking for a fish. There are large carp in the little stream here, but probably also small ones that have been swept over the weir.

A Blackbird caught a worm near the Dell.

But in the Rose Garden a Robin was having to wait for its meal, as the feeders were occupied by Rose-Ringed Parakeets.

There was no sign of a Little Owl. That is just chance in the case of the pairs near the leaf yard and the Albert Memorial. But it seems likely that the pair near the Henry Moore sculpture, which haven't been seen for weeks, have moved to another tree because of the Carrion Crows' nest on top of their original home.


  1. I saw my first baby squirrel yesterday just off the north carriageway drive. It was in a crow's beak. At first I thought it was a field mouse but when I got off the bike to have a look and the crow retreated I saw it was a young squirrel. I looked around to see if a parent squirrel was near, thinking I'd keep the crow off till the youngster could be retrieved, but there was no sign of a concerned parent so I think the crow had carried it to this unpeopled and unsquirrelled spot to be uninterrupted. Meanwhile the little ball of grey was struggling to climb up the tree but it soon fell off and it was then I noticed its back legs were dangling. The crow had immobilised them. So no more thoughts of rescuing it, it was a gonner, and if I'd known how and had the bottle I'd have wrung its neck, but I couldn't guarantee that my efforts would be any more humane than what the crow had in mind. Have you faced the dilemma with fledglings for instance?

    1. There was nothing you could have done. You just had to let nature take its course. A couple of years ago I found an adult squirrel under an idiot dogwoman's Jack Russell, with a broken back. I pushed the dog off and stamped on the squirrel's head with my heavy hiking boot, which seemed the quickest way of putting it out of its agony. 'How could you do that?' she said. I can't remember what I replied, but I do remember that she turned grey in the face and slunk away in a hunched attitude.