Tuesday 5 June 2012

The old weeping willow tree overhanging the Long Water at the north end of the bridge has lost one of its main branches, which has fallen into the water. Although it is sad to see this fine old tree in a bad state, the fallen branch may become a useful nesting site for water birds, as the fallen horse chestnut tree farther up the Long Water did, but this is now falling apart and a replacement would be welcome.

The Willow Warbler at the back of the Lido was singing loudly, though out of sight. The pair have been here for some time, and are evidently nesting.

Here a Blue Tit is picking an insect off a twig to give to a fledgeling.

Amid the usual mob of Mute Swans and Greylag and Canada Geese taking food from people on the shore near the Dell restaurant was a very bold female Common Pochard. I gave her some pieces of biscuit and she rushed around pecking me on the ankles for more.

A solitary Black-Headed Gull has appeared on the Long Water. At this time of year it ought to be away with the others, breeding on some inland rubbish dump, but it must have strayed. It is in full breeding plumage. As you can see, its head is not black at all but dark chocolate brown.

The second Grey Herons' nest on the Serpentine island, where there has been a sitting bird for some weeks, was empty. There has been no sign of young birds here, and I think it must have failed. But the brood of eight young Egyptian Geese is still intact, and the young birds are now large enough to be out of danger from gulls.


  1. Really first class photo of Blue Tit and fledgeling! Well done. And thank you for the information about the Black-Headed Gull.
    There were two quite large Blue Tit fledgelings with their parents (or parent) at the corner of the Leaf Yard, opposite the Littlw Owls' trees. This seems to be the most popular corner for feeeding amongst the little birds. On the whole they preferred to be given food by a parent but one of them was making an effort at taking food from my hand. The Blue Tit I call Not-Long-For-This-World looks even more poorly. In is/her bald patches a really raw, area of skin has appeared. Hearbreaking to see it going down hill.

  2. Young Blue Tits seem to behave differently from young Great Tits. Blues wait for their parents to come and feed them. Greats chase their parents calling to be fed (which is why I still don't have a usable photograph). For several days young Great Tits have been coming direct to my hand, unafraid but clumsy.

    The tatty Blue Tit is not looking any worse than a month ago. It won't grow any new feathers until the normal time for replacing them, in late summer. We can only wait and hope.