Sunday, 9 April 2017

Tom captured a remarkable moment yesterday, a Tufted Duck mating with A Red-Crested Pochard. Crosses between members of the genus Aythya, to which the Tufted Duck belongs, are quite common, and on the lake there are two hybrids of a Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula) and a Common Pochard (A. ferina). But a Red-Crested Pochard (Netta rufina) belongs to a different genus, and is a considerably larger duck.

The Egyptian Goose family on the Long Water could be seen from across the lake. It looks as if they are down to seven goslings. A Grey Heron standing nearby is yet another of the dangers they face in addition to Carrion Crows and large gulls.

The Coot nesting on a post near Peter Pan got a hungry look from a passing Herring Gull. But the meal won't be ready for another three or four weeks.

The Great Crested Grebes at the east end of the Serpentine were making another futile attempt to attach a nest to a raft, in a place where the fence has been broken down by Mute Swans.

The Grey Herons in the lowest nest on the island were still together and staring down into the nest. But so far there hasn't been any sight or sound of nestlings.

Tom also sent me a pleasing picture of a Goldfinch in an alder tree beside the Long Water.

The white-faced Blackbird appeared near the Italian Garden. I only took half a dozen quick pictures of her, but she lost patience and flew away before I had given her a bit of digestive biscuit.

However, a Blue Tit waited longer and got a pine nut.

A pair of Long-Tailed Tits were chasing each other through the trees.

A Wren sang from a holly tree.

A Magpie beside the Serpentine had been given a piece of very stale bread, and dropped it in the water to soften it.

At the leaf yard, a pair of Jackdaws were muttering affectionately at each other.

The Little Owl near the Albert Memorial was at the back of her hole, so despite the sunshine I didn't get a good view of her.

Here is a bit of video I shot a couple of days ago. She was trying to get some rest, but flies kept annoying her.


  1. Poor pestered Little Owl. Reminds me of myself in summer!

    1. I long to give it a little hat with corks round the brim.

    2. Ralph, just a heads up that blogger has been down in Spain since late evening. I am accessing blogger through an anonymizer right now and it does load, but it looks as if blogger was ISP-blocked or barred from being accessed from a Spanish IP. Readers from other countries may be experiencing the same issue.

    3. Thanks. It seems to have been a temporary failure. I'm using a VPN Spanish server to view the blog and write this reply.

  2. It seems 'Red-tufted Pochard' is possible, a Google search brings up some demoniacal looking pictures. Doesn't the duck have to migrate still though? One of the watching drakes looks distinctly bemused. Jim

    1. Yes, very odd looking. I don't think the Red-Crested Pochards in the park do migrate. We get them in varying numbers all year round. I think we share the population with Regent's Park.