Thursday 12 March 2015

A female Goldeneye was seen on the Serpentine by Des McKenzie this morning, in the same place as the Scaup in front of the reed bed by the Diana fountain. When I went to find it there was a moment of excitement as I saw a duck with a brown head preening, but when it straightened up it turned out to be one of the two well known Pochard--Tufted Duck hybrids.

I couldn't find the Goldeneye, but I am sure that Des was not misled by the hybrid duck, which doesn't look like a Goldeneye anyway when it is in a normal position. Goldeneyes used to be a familiar sight on the Long Water in the past, but now they only come very occasionally and I haven't seen one for two years.

The Scaup was also preening himself.

Like a Tufted Duck (or a rubber bath duck), he has a cheerful smile moulded into his bill.

The two Mute Swans on the Long Water were together on their artificial island when I saw them from Peter Pan, though by the time I got close the female had wandered off, leaving the male comfortably reclining on the reeds.

It does seem likely now that they will have the good sense to use it for their nest.

The Great Crested Grebes who had been practising their dance finally got it right.

When they had finished they both went to the nest under the willow tree and carefully laid their leaves on it.

The flock of Redwings is still at the bottom of the Parade Ground near the bandstand.

The fence stops you from getting nearer than 50 yards from them, but if you went closer these shy birds would fly off anyway.

A pair of Long-Tailed Tits are building a nest in Kensington Gardens. I will not mention its location, as this miraculous sphere of spider webs, moss, lichen and feathers is a tempting item for collectors. Here one of the birds brings a bit of lichen.

The female Little Owl was in the chestnut tree next to the nest tree. Although she is wary of people, the second time I passed by she allowed me to get quite close.

The male Tawny Owl spent most of the day in the beech tree.

In the late afternoon he moved back to the nest tree and sat guarding the hole.


  1. I love the unfolding of the Grebes' narrative, their dancing, bonding and nesting. So looking forward to the rest of the story....

    1. Don't raise your hopes too high. It would be very unusual for a spring breeding attempt to succeed on this lake. Stocks of small fish aren't adequate till midsummer.