Wednesday 23 May 2012

The lake is now lined with Coots' nests in every suitable place. Having run out of good places, they are now using bad ones, and the overcrowding causes a good deal of noisy territorial dispute. This nest in a patch of irises in the Italian Garden now has several eggs in it. The irises are sadly ripped up, and workmen have been putting netting around the other clumps to stop coots from using them too. Actually I don't think that this is necessary, because the existing pair would chase off any rivals that got that close.

Another pair of Coots has built on a plastic crate under the overhanging terrace of the Dell restaurant -- well sheltered, but at risk from the Lesser Black-Backed Gull who hangs around the area.

The Mute Swans nesting at the outflow of the Serpentine have hatched three cygnets, and today the parents took them out for their first swim in the lake.

The female Tawny Owl was unexpectedly visible in the nest tree. Every time I see an owl here I think it will be the last time this year, and take an indifferent picture as a record, and then a few days later an owl pops up again.

Here is one of the Ring-Necked Parakeets that are now coming down to take food from people. They have become very bold and can be fed by almost anyone. Their bright green plumage makes them nearly invisible among the leaves as long as they stay still -- just as it makes them absurdly conspicuous in winter when the trees are bare.


  1. The last time you'll see a Tawney Owl? Because they'll go away or just be hidden by the leaves?

  2. The leaves hide them. The owlets remain with the parents for some time, learning to hunt. When they are independent, some time in the autumn, their parents kick them out of the territory. The parents remain where they are, and when the leaves fall off they can be seen again, if you're lucky. Then the cycle begins again.