Tuesday 23 April 2013

A pair of Treecreepers are nesting in the old sweet chestnut tree where the Little Owls nested last year -- that is, one chestnut to the east of where they are at the moment, and next to the path, from which they can be seen. The nest is under a flake of peeling bark, a typical site for a Treecreeper nest. However, the hole seems to be to big, as the birds are making strenuous efforts to fill it up with bits of wood and bark from under the tree. Here one of them strains to lift an impossibly large chunk, which it dropped and retrieved several times before giving up.

But it got a piece nearly as large up to the nest hole.

The male Little Owl was out early this morning, but had gone inside by the time I arrived and didn't emerge, in spite of the arms sunlight. Nor could I find any of the Tawny Owls around their usual place. But there will be other days.

A pair of Common Terns, the first of the year,were flying over the Round Pond, hovering to look for fish before plunging into the water.

They won't nest here, despite the provision of a tern raft in the Long Water. After the raft had been built, launched and anchored, people lost interest in equipping it with the necessary furniture -- a surface of white pebbles the size of tern eggs, and a bucket on its side for shelter. The raft is probably too large anyway, since all kinds of larger birds can sit on it.

The Great Crested Grebes under the willow tree near the bridge now have four eggs. A pair of newly arrived grebes were dancing on the Serpentine.

There are quite a lot of suitable sites for grebe nests on the Serpentine, behind the nets in various reed beds. In previous years the birds have show no interest in nesting inside a net, but the nest behind the net at the east end of the Serpentine is now a going concern, and other birds may copy this pair.

The Mute Swans at the Lido also have four eggs, and are now showing interest in their nest after a very vague start. It is too early to say whether they will stay there, or whether the eggs laid earlier and neglected have remained viable.


  1. A couple of years back I saw a pair of Common Terns feeding young at Hyde Park/Kensington Gardens, would they have been fledged birds stopping off?

    1. Yes, I have seen them too. I think they just fly in with the young bird (have never seen more than one here), dump it on a post and catch fish for it. The terns that visit the park seem to come from the Grand Union Canal, where you often see them flying between Paddington Basin and the Scrubs Lane bridge, and for all I know farther along.

  2. Thank you for more beautiful photos and heartening stories to bring a little life and light into my dreary office and lift my spirits at the end of a day.