Friday, 26 February 2021

A Robin sang in a corkscrew hazel bush near the Albert Memorial. Many small birds seem to like the twisty twigs of this species.

The Long-Tailed Tits were busy building their nest in the euonymus bush in the Rose Garden.

There is another Long-Tailed Tit nest under construction in a bush at the east end of the Lido, I'm not sure exactly where yet.

A Blue Tit perched above the nut feeder in the Dell.

A fine portrait by Neil of the Blue Tit near the Vista which expects to be fed by all passers by.

This Jackdaw at the Vista was also expecting an offering.

Ahmet Amerikali found a female Great Spotted Woodpecker near the leaf yard.

Two Rose-Ringed Parakeets had a dispute about a nest hole.

The Grey Heron in the nest at the west end of the island was looking down into the nest. Perhaps the eggs are beginning to hatch.

On the south side of the island a heron was ignoring one of the baskets put up for them. The herons in Regent's Park understand that a basket makes a good base for a nest, but our herons have yet to learn this and persist in making their own from scratch, a considerable labour.

Two pairs of Coots fought on the Serpentine, with two opponents face to face and the others chasing each other. There was a win when one Coot held another under water, so that the loser had to submit and be chased off. Thanks to Duncan Campbell for this video.

Coots were building a nest apparently in the middle of the Long Water. In fact there is a submerged fallen poplar tree here with a branch sticking up almost to the surface to which a nest can be attached.

These Red-Crested Pochards, four drakes and a female, have been visiting the park at intervals for several years. Today they were at the Vista.

A good picture by Neil of the solitary Common Pochard drake that hangs around on the east side of the bridge.

A Mallard drake enjoyed a vigorous wash and flap at the Lido.

An Egyptian Goose carefully cropped the grass at the edge of the Henry Moore sculpture. If you have geese you don't need a lawn mower or a strimmer, and as a bonus they fertilise the soil.

Thursday, 25 February 2021

 A Dunnock sang beside the Long Water. Usually they are shy birds, and it's most unusual to be able to get so close to one.

There were several Greenfinches a few yards away.

This is the pair of Long-Tailed Tits in the Rose Garden that are starting a nest in the euonymus bush you can see at the end of this clip. The leaves are too dense for the nest to be seen, but there are plenty of views of them flying around. The bird in the climbing rose was looking for cobwebs.

A pair of Jackdaws were making a racket around a hole in a plane tree in the Dell, where evidently they are planning to nest.

It's unusual to see a Carrion Crow with a ring. I reported the number to the BTO, just to see who is bothering to ring crows.

Both the Peregrines were on the tower. They have been here on most days recently, rather than their other daytime place on the Metropole Hilton hotel.

The Grey Herons' nest with the chick in it is now surrounded by blossom. I didn't get a sight of the chick.

The pigeon-eating Lesser Black-backed Gull is looking smarter than ever. His legs are now orange rather than yellow, the most intense colour I've ever seen on one of the species.

A young Herring Gull was poking busily into the space between plastic buoys at the Lido. It may have been trying to unpick the rope.

As soon as the Coots leave the nest on the post at Peter Pan, one or another Black-Headed Gull swims over and starts probing it for insects.

The pair of Great Crested Grebes were still hanging around the Coot nest under the willow by the bridge.

A pair of Mute Swans started to build a nest on the Serpentine island, pulling twigs and bits of debris into a rough heap.

The male Mute Swan that is being pursued by the Black Swan seemed to be on quite civil terms with it today -- easier than having to keep swimming away with this relentless creature following.

The repaired swan island in the Long Water had Canada Geese on it ...

... then a variety of birds -- everything except the swans, which so far are showing no interest in it at all.

Wednesday, 24 February 2021

For several days I've been trying to get a decent video of the Grey Heron chick on the island. This, though still not good, is the best I've managed so far.

A smaller nest among the herons' nests turned out to belong to a Magpie.

A heron fished in water as deep as it could stand in near the outflow of the Serpentine. It made two lunges, but I'm not sure it caught anything.

The swan island in the Long Water is finished, and there's a generous sized gravel bank for the dominant Mute Swan and his mate to bring twigs to. So far they haven't shown any interest in it, but other birds have including the hopeless pair of Egyptian Geese. A Cormorant climbed onshore, scaring a Herring Gull.

The Black Swan was on the Serpentine preening its wings.

There was one Peregrine on the tower, eating something. As I approached to photograph it, still 200 yards away, the other arrived and tried to get a share of what you can just see is a Feral Pigeon. I think the bird on the left, which had the pigeon, is the female, although the fact that you can only see part of it makes it look smaller.

There was a brief squabble and she shooed the male away. He flew off and she went to the back of the ledge, out of sight, to finish her pigeon.

A Wood Pigeon was peacefully occupied in eating blossom.

One of the elusive Nuthatches, a male, was singing in a tree near the leaf yard. He flew into the old oak behind the railings, where I've often photographed Nuthatches before.

Greenfinches were flying around the shrubbery at the southwest corner of the bridge.

While I was trying to get a picture, a Long-Tailed Tit showed up and posed prettily on a twig.

I didn't find any Goldfinches in the park but they are often heard in the streets. Both they and Greenfinches like to perch on television aerials.

Two fine spring pictures by Neil. By feeding the tame Coal Tit near the Albert Memorial he managed to lure it into a camellia.

A Carrion Crow foraged among crocuses.

This is the first butterfly I've seen this year. Brimstones are always the earliest to appear in the park. Males are bright yellow, females white. They are restless and hardly ever stop for a still picture, so this video is the best I can do.

Tuesday, 23 February 2021

A Blue Tit in a tree in the Rose Garden sang quietly to his mate on the next branch. They aren't in full song yet.

A Robin sang in a rose bush. Of course they have been singing all winter.

A Chaffinch was also singing, but I couldn't make a video because of background noise.

This is the shy one of the pair of Coal Tits near the Albert Memorial which won't come to my hand. But it did consent to take a pine nut off the ground.

Sunshine brought out the iridescent colours of a Starling at the Lido.

Carrion Crows were also looking finely glossy.

The usual Jay waited at the bridge for its customary peanut.

A pair of Stock Doves are nesting in the hole in the plane tree north of the Albert Memorial that has previously been used by Mandarins.

The nest at the east end of the island still isn't getting any larger despite the constant attendance of a Grey Heron.

A Peregrine flew out from the tower.

Someone told me that he had seen the man with the Harris Hawks flying one over this area, hired to scare away Feral Pigeons from nearby flats. You'd hardly think this was necessary with a pair of Peregrines hunting here. But certainly there were far fewer pigeons than usual. Maybe they've become blasé about the Peregrines.

A Herring Gull had taken over the Coots' nest on the boat platform. I'm sure it doesn't mean to nest there, and it's too young anyway, so it had moved in just for the fun of driving out a Coot.

The Coot under the willow near the bridge was firmly occupying its nest ...

... while a pair of Great Crested Grebes hung around waiting for an opportunity to steal it. This picture was taken from the bridge, looking down through the tree.

The dominant Mute Swan at the west end of the Serpentine was busking around bullying the other swans. The breeze ruffled his feathers.

The artificial island in the Long Water made for swans to nest on had fallen to bits after the destructive birds had ripped out the reeds that held the surface together. Now it's being repaired with tons of gravel, which should be sufficiently swanproof.

Monday, 22 February 2021

A pair of Mute Swans displayed and mated at the Lido.

Another pair were courting nearby ...

And as usual, the Black Swan was obsessively following a Mute Swan around.

A pair of Greylag Geese ate dry reeds.

The pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull and his mate were together in their favourite place on the Dell restaurant roof.

Two were nattering at each other on the posts at Peter Pan. As so often with gulls, it's hard to tell whether they were courting or quarrelling.

The Black-Headed Gulls are gradually getting their black heads (which in fact are dark brown). The single Common Gull at the right still has the dark-streaked head of its winter plumage.

The Grey Heron on the nest with the chick (not heard recently, I hope it's OK) broke off a twig.

The Peregrines were on the tower with their backs to the drizzle.

A pair of Blue Tits chased each other around in a treetop.

The pair of Coal Tits at the Albert Memorial were in a holly bush. One came to my hand to take a pine nut.

A Long-Tailed Tit arrived at the osmanthus bush in the Rose Garden where I thought the pair were starting a nest. Sure enough, it was carrying a bit of lichen. It only stopped on this rose stem for an instant, and here is the best shot I could get.

A Wren chattered on a twig near the Henry Moore sculpture.

Yesterday Sergey Anpilov saw a Stonechat on Buck Hill, and managed to get a picture of it with a pair of binoculars and his phone -- not an easy thing to do.

I couldn't find it today. It might have crossed the road to the Meadow, where there is a larger area of scrub that Stonechats like. But the drizzle was turning to rain, and I gave up and went home.

Tom was at Harrow Lodge Park, where he got a fine picture of a Water Rail catching a worm.