Sunday, 5 April 2020

The Mistle Thrushes in the sweet chestnut tree on the north edge of Kensington Gardens were bringing worms to their chicks. One bird stands guard over the nest at all times.

A male Blackcap sang in a tree beside the Long Water.

So did a Chiffchaff just down the path ...

... and a Wren on a nearby twig.

A Pied Wagtail hunted along the edge of the Lido restaurant terrace, shaded by the large planters that give the birds a secluded hunting ground.

A Wood Pigeon bathed in the pool at the top of the Dell waterfall.

A warm day brought out the male Little Owl near the Henry Moore statue, but this pair prefer to perch on the shaded side of the branch.

The nest hole formerly used by the Little Owls in the sweet chestnut beside the leaf yard is now occupied by a pair of Jackdaws.

I haven't seen or heard these owls for months, since they were persecuted by Magpies in a tree near the Queen's Temple.

The Grey Heron chicks now have well developed wings, and were exercising them in the nest.

The Coots nesting on the post at Peter Pan arranged a sweet wrapper in a tasteful position.

Against the odds, the last Egyptian gosling was still alive.

The dominant Mute Swans on the Long Water seem to have decided to nest in the reed bed near the Italian Garden. It's a dangerous place but they have no choice now that their island is gone.

The Black Swan on the Round Pond chewed the receipt for a hired bicycle.

Tinúviel sent a link to an Instagram clip of a Black Swan behaving as Black Swans will.

A Peacock butterfly sunned itself in the Rose Garden.

Saturday, 4 April 2020

Usually the gas lamp at the back of the Lido numbered 76 has a Blue Tit nesting in it every year. But when I passed by there was a Wren singing on the crossbar.

It flew into the top of the cast iron post and went in through the hole. It must be nesting here. No bird larger than a Blue Tit can get into these holes, but a Wren is smaller.

The Long-Tailed Tit sitting in the nest in the Rose Garden was looking out of the entrance.

A Chiffchaff sang in a nearby treetop.

Although it was a beautiful sunny day there was no sign of any of the Little Owls. But there was a Treecreeper on the oak near the Albert Memorial ...

... and a Mistle Thrush on the next tree.

A Magpie washed in the little pool at the top of the Dell waterfall. They wash, shake themselves dry, and preen before washing again, repeating the cycle several times.

Several Jays followed me around the Long Water touting for peanuts.

One of the adult Grey Herons was with the two chicks in the nest.

There were few people in the park over the week, so most of the Herring Gulls left too in search of better pickings elsewhere. But they seem to know when it's the weekend and more people will be out, and today there were about fifty of them on the Serpentine.

Every year a pair of Great Crested Grebes make a nest in a fallen poplar tree on the Long Water. Here they are just starting to lay bits of weed across a branch to provide a base on which twigs can be lodged.

A Moorhen poked around in the small waterfall in the Dell.

The Egyptian Geese have managed to keep their last surviving gosling for another day.

A pair of Gadwalls cruised on the sunlit water of the Serpentine.

Tom, stuck at home, got a picture of a Buzzard circling high over his back garden.

Friday, 3 April 2020

Male Greenfinches have two songs, the peculiar wheezing sound heard in a video I made a few days ago, and this twittering song.

Another video of the beautiful song of a Blackcap, singing in a hawthorn beside the Long Water.

A pair of Mistle Thrushes have built a nest in an old sweet chestnut tree on the north edge of Kensington Gardens. The place is too exposed, especially as sweet chestnuts are slow to come into leaf.

The tenants were having trouble with Rose-Ringed Parakeets flying around the tree, which are not predators but are a nuisance, and were rattling irritably at them.

There is also a Song Thrush nest in a tree just south of the clump of catalpas near the Italian Garden. I couldn't see it from the ground, but there were Carrion Crows, Magpies and Jays in the tree and the thrushes were scolding them furiously. One them flew into an adjacent tree to try to draw the invaders away.

Jackdaws are nesting in an oak at the southeast corner of the leaf yard, as they have every year since they returned to the park.

A Chaffinch perched on a thorny stem in the Rose Garden.

A Feral Pigeon clung precariously to a narrow ledge on the vertical face of the bridge.

There is now usually at least one Pied Wagtail running along the edge of the lake at the Lido restaurant.

A Crow looked out from a patch of miniature narcissi in a plant pot on the terrace.

Another crow played with pigeon feathers on the shore. It looked as if it was going to take them to a nest, but it dropped them before flying away.

The female Little Owl near the Henry Moore sculpture was in her usual place in front of the hole.

The pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull had crossed the lake and was eyeing a group of pigeons on the south shore, no doubt hoping that they would be easier to catch than the ones in his usual hunting ground.

There is now just one surviving Egyptian gosling, belonging to the white-headed gander and his mate.

A Moorhen perched on one of the fountains in the Italian Garden, which have been turned off. The flying saucer-like structure is a drain.

Tom is cooped up at home, but that doesn't stop him from taking photographs. He got this picture of a bat at sunset from the back door of his house.

Thursday, 2 April 2020

A third pair of Egyptian Geese on the Serpentine have bred, but they are already down to one surviving gosling.

The gander is the only male Egyptian in the park to have a white head, as far as I know. This is much commoner among females and may be sex-linked.

The second pair still have one gosling, which the mother was wisely keeping next to a tree ...

... because a Lesser Black-Backed Gull was giving it a calculating look.

A visit to the Round Pond to check on the Black Swan found a Mandarin drake having a vigorous wash behind it.

A pair of Mute Swans collected reeds to make a nest in a hopelessly exposed place on a public path near the Lido.

A Tufted drake displayed to a female, stretching his neck to make him look tall and impressive.

This female Pochard near the bridge is our only permanent resident after all the migrants have left. Even the drake I photographed a few days ago has now gone.

A Great Crested Grebe on the Long Water was calling. He had lost sight of his mate, and they become anxious if separated for more than a few minutes.

A new Coot nest is going up in a fallen poplar at Peter Pan. This is only a day's work and already a sturdy structure is taking shape.

But the incompetent Coots' nest in the dead willow has not advanced at all in the past week.

A Carrion Crow drank from the little pool at the top of the Dell waterfall.

I gave two Jackdaws peanuts, but a Grey Squirrel kept muscling in. Even a Feral Pigeon can displace these rather timid birds.

This Robin at the back of the Lido is now coming out to take pine nuts thrown on to the path.

A Blackbird stared suspiciously from a post.

A Long-Tailed Tit paused on a bramble beside the Long Water.

A Wren came out of a border in the Rose Garden ...

... and a fox ran across the lawn to go to ground in the shrubbery around the Cavalry Memorial.