Saturday, 12 April 2014

The two Grey Wagtails were out chasing insects, both beside the outflow of the Serpentine ...

... and on the netting over the reed bed east of the Lido.

They were holding quantities of insects in their beaks while hunting for more. It look as if they have nested under the plank bridge across the waterfall in the Dell, and are briging the insects to their nestlings. But it seems very early in the year for them to have got so far.

The Grey Heron was in its usual place under the marble fountain of the Italian Garden. Here it is lunging for a fish.

Unusually, it missed it.

This is the pair of Mute Swans that nested in the reeds near the Diana fountain and had their nest raided and their eggs broken, probably by a fox. They deserted the nest site for several days, but now they have returned and maybe this time they will succeed in hatching some cygnets.

The young Great Black-Backed Gull was back on the Long Water. It came close inshore near Peter Pan, shoving Herring Gulls and Lesser Black-Backs away.

No one tried to feed this huge and ominous creature, so it flew off to the Italian Garden.

The overhanging tree beside the Vista had two Mandarins in it today, climbing confidently around the branches thanks to the sharp claws on their webbed feet.

I saw five males and only one female. Maybe the other females are already nesting.

The male Tawny Owl hooted from the nest tree but I couldn't see him. The sound was a bit muffled, so maybe he was inside the hollow tree.


  1. the grey wagtails are such smart birds aren't they. normally i seem to manage to chance upon them but on my recents visits to the dell i haven't done so. i shall focus my efforts on the border of the lake! i agree ducks up trees look so incongruous! i saw an egyptisan goose sat atop one of the dead sweet chestnut trees near the leaf yard quacking away. could hardly believe my eyes. thanks for your report.
    Mark W2

    1. Egyptian Geese make a point of standing on the tops of dead trees and yelling their heads off. They start doing this long before they breed. It's a pair-bonding ritual. Incidentally, there's still life in most of those 323-year old chestnut trees. Look at them again in a month's time.

    2. thanks for the info ralph. trees certainly are tenacious. they seem to keep going for many years even when they fall over.
      Mark W2