Monday 16 February 2015

The Maned Goose is back at the Round Pond, again feeding near the Egyptians but keeping them from getting too close.

I don't know whether it has been here all the time unobserved or whether it was taken back to the collection it came from in another park, and has escaped again.

One of the Grey Heron nests on the Serpentine island has grown substantially since yesterday.

In all four nests, or attempts at nests, are visible from the shore, but I think the other three are smaller today, suggesting that one pair of herons is robbing twigs from the other sites to save having to gather them from scratch.

On the Long Water, the mother of the young swans has started chasing them away.

Previously it was only their father who did this, so it suggests that the final kicking-out time is near. The pair have been looking at a site in the reeds on the east side of the lake, but so far I haven't seen them near the little island that has been built specially for them. They won't be nesting for a while yet, so there is still plenty of time for them to get the idea.

At the east end of the Serpentine another perch met its end in the beak of a hungry Great Crested Grebe.

There is a little weedy pond in the garden of the Ranger's Lodge, visible over the fence on the west side of the enclosure. A Blue Tit had come down to the edge to have a drink.

You can now often hear Nuthatches singing in the trees around the leaf yard.

I get the impression that all the birds have started singing early this year. You can also hear plenty of Great Tits, Blue Tits and the occasional Coal Tit singing, and today they were joined by a Chaffinch north of the Flower Walk. Song Thrushes are singing all over the park, but we shall have to wait for Blackbirds, which start later than the other songbirds.

Two Coal Tits followed me all the way from near the Tawny Owls' tree around the corner of the leaf yard to Peter Pan.

The male Tawny Owl himself was also in his usual place all day, and was awake when I passed.


  1. I didn't know there was a seasonal element to birds singing. Nor that they varied in when they sang. Blackbirds have a glorious flute-y song, so I shall look forward to them starting. Ralph, I seem to hear 'getting up' and 'going to bed' bursts of singing. Is that correct?

    1. Yes, the 'dawn chorus' and the 'sunset chorus'. Most songbirds sing from early spring to midsummer. Robins are exceptions in singing all year round, and in males and females both singing. They have individual territories, and defend them when not paired up during the nesting season.

    2. Thank you once again for sharing your knowledge!

  2. Can this Maned Goose fly? Jim n.L.

    1. Must be able to. There is no collection of exotic wildfowl in Kensington Gardens or Hyde Park.