Monday 27 May 2013

The Great Crested Grebes who lost their nest under the willow tree near the bridge have managed to get going again, and have built a new nest under the same tree a few yards away -- they couldn't return to the same place because some Coots have nabbed it. It is  visible from the shore but not in such a good place for photographs, as it is mostly obscured by twigs and leaves. Let's hope they have better success this time.

Meanwhile there is a lot of action at the bridge. The resident grebes are hauling bigger and bigger fish out of the basket ...

... and intruders are being made to leave in a hurry. This one was so flustered by its hostile reception that it actually flew away for some distance.

There was a Common Tern fishing on the Serpentine.

It called frequently, but I couldn't see a mate or juvenile anywhere. These terns spend a good deal of time on the Grand Union Canal which, despite being murky, is teeming with fish, and only come down to the park occasionally.

Near the Queen's Temple I heard the call of a Hobby and it shot between two trees with a Carrion Crow in pursuit. It didn't come back into view.

The Song Thrush nesting near the Serpentine Gallery is becoming remarkably insouciant about humans. It stood on the edge of the busy path for some time as people passed within a couple of feet of it. It acted as if it thought it was invisible -- which, from the point of view of most of the people, it was.

The Coots who have been harassing the nesting Mute Swans below the Italian Garden have now built a nest in the reeds just two yards away from the swans' nest. One of them was sitting on it, uttering irritable chippy cries. They really do seem to enjoy being aggressive.


  1. Just wanted to thank you for this blog, it is simply wonderful.

  2. Replies
    1. Me too. Compelling, even on a slow day.

      I saw a dead adult Egyptian Goose at the side of the Serpentine this evening. No obvious injuries but I'm wondering if it got too brave and a dog got it. It's the first Egyptian casualty I'm aware of. Do you know if there have been others? The blonde young one looks a bit feisty. After the other two had been huddled together for a while the blonde one decided to join them and tried to push between them. They were having none of it but eventually had to give in. It may be the smallest of the brood but it's no pushover.

    2. Thank you all for your kind words. I also saw a dead bird by the Serpentine this afternoon, but it was certainly a female Mallard. Most of it had been eaten by gulls, but the head was intact. I wonder whether some wretched dog owner has let his pet go on a rampage. Some of the Egyptians certainly can't fly at the moment because they are moulting their flight feathers. I am not sure about the flying ability of the ones with 'angel wing'; at least some of them seem to be able to fly, though not well.