Tuesday 21 May 2013

The Grey Wagtails are nesting under the little plank bridge in the Dell. I saw the pair fly under the bridge, and a few moments later one of them appeared with a beakful of flies, showing that the young have already hatched.

Yet another lamp post has been used as a nest by Blue Tits, this time at the southeast corner of the Dell. This bird was whizzing in and out of the top of the iron column at frequent intervals, bringing caterpillars for the nestlings.

In fact I heard this nest before I saw it. There was a faint high-pitched noise that I thought was a Goldcrest -- there are Goldcrests at this corner of the Dell -- but it turned out to be coming from the lamp post, and it was the baby tits calling for food.

This is the Great Crested Grebes' nest at the northeast corner of the Serpentine island.

I couldn't see more than two chicks on their parent's back, but the birds are still taking it in turns to sit on the nest, and more eggs may yet hatch. The other grebes' nest on the island is still occupied, by it is even more masked by wire baskets than this one, and you can't see waht's happening. Ugly as these baskets are, they do give the grebes useful protection, and some plants are beginning to grow in them, in a rather half-hearted way.

There were seven Mandarins on the Long Water, six males and a fermale, the most I have ever seen here. Here four of them slug it out with some pigeons for biscuit crumbs.

They are quite fierce birds and were able to dominate the Feral Pigeons; the Wood Pigeon in the background didn't take part in the scuffle.

There was a Spotted Flycatcher over the Long Water again, darting out of the bushes for an insect and back to the same place to wait for the next one. It was visible from the Italian Garden, but too far away for a photograph. There were still a lot of Swifts over both lakes, and the usual small number of House Martins at the east end.


  1. I was surprised to find the small birds, at the corner of the leaf yard near the main path, still very interested in food as late as 5pm today. A male Chaffinch fed from my hand for the first time. There were a pair of Robins, both looking rather tired and thin. I wonder whether they have young now because they were filling their beaks with bits of pine nut, rather than being satisfied with just the odd one, in their usual fashion?

  2. I'm pretty sure that those Robins have young, they've been taking a lot of food from me too. The same goes for many of the other small birds. Robins are quite slim birds, but have a great capacity to fluff themselves up. I winter they look practically spherical, but it's just feathers and they are keeping warm.