Saturday, 6 May 2017

The House Martins are beginning to take an interest in their nest site in the cornice of the Kuwaiti Embassy in Knightsbridge, just outside the park gates. There were also a good number of them over the Round Pond, where this picture was taken, mixing with a large flock of Swifts.

The birds hunting insects over the Round Pond included several Pied Wagtails. Between bouts of flapping ...

... they fold up their wings completely.

This method of flight is called 'bounding flight', and is common among small birds, since it reduces both drag and effort. But wagtails do it to a very large degree, which gives them that distinctive undulating flight.

One of the Grey Wagtails was on the shore at the Lido restaurant.

The male Great Crested Grebe was near the Serpentine island with the chicks on his back. Seeing his mate approaching and wanting to transfer them to her, he stood up and flapped so that they tumbled into the water ...

... and this was my first sight of the three of them together.

There is still only one Coot chick in the nest on the basket by the bridge, and it looks as if the remaining eggs are infertile.

Virginia sent me a fine picture of one of the parents feeding the chick a large insect, of which it only ate part and the adult had the rest.

We haven't had a picture of Blondie's family for a while, so here they are in their usual place on the south shore of the Serpentine.

At one of the Mute Swan nests on the rafts at the east end of the Serpentine, the male was guarding the eggs while the female was off feeding. A Grey Heron came too close and he glared at it.

Two Mallard drakes and a female circled over the Round Pond. It seems to be a display to impress the female with the drakes' power and aerial skill.

Yesterday Tom saw a Little Egret flying high over the Long Water. This species is on the increase, and soon they will be a fairly common sight in inner London.

Another good picture by Tom, of one of the Jackdaws at the leaf yard shredding a tissue to line its nest.

Since Jackdaws nest in holes, it doesn't matter that the tissue isn't waterproof.

A female Blackcap was gathering insects for her young  near the Queen's Temple.

The Mistle Thrush family were flying around the grass east of the Dell, but on a Saturday there were too many people to allow them to land for more than a few seconds. Here is one of the parents in a birch tree.

The Little Owl at the leaf yard was out of his hole in the morning, but soon there were too many people for his liking and he went in and stayed in.


  1. That Wagtail looks for all the world like a missile homing in. Great picture!
    Great to see Blondie's babies all grown up and out of danger. She is such a good, devoted mother.

    1. She did well with her first brood too, last year, with no experience at all.