Thursday 19 March 2015

The two Mute Swans on the Long Water were both on their island busily ripping up reeds to make a nest. They seem to have started nesting in earnest now.

The Grey Heron lurking resentfully in the background had been using the nest as a fishing platform until the swans chased it off.

The Long-Tailed Tits' nest in Kensington Gardens is now almost complete. The bird is just finishing the roof of this hollow sphere, about the size of a large grapefruit.

When it is complete they will enter it through a hole at the side.

There were at least 30 Pied Wagtails on the south shore of the Serpentine, between the east end and the Lido.

It seems that the whole population has transferred there from their usual place on the Parade Ground because of the returfing operation.

The male pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull was trying several manoeuvres to catch a victim: creeping up through a group of Mute Swans, standing still and hoping a pigeon would wander within his reach, and flying around hoping to swoop on one. He didn't succeed while I was there.

Meanwhile his mate had to be content with a Ritz cracker.

This Lesser Black-Back on the Serpentine is in second-winter plumage, with adult dark grey feathers spreading over its back. It would have been hatched in the spring of 2014.

The Goldeneye was reported to be on the Serpentine by Des McKenzie this morning. I went carefully all round the lake with binoculars and couldn't find her. Nor could anyone else I spoke to. She only surfaces for a few seconds before diving for half a minute, which makes her very hard to find. However, I did find the Scaup in his usual place on the north shore.

The male Tawny Owl was also invisible, and had not emerged the last time I went past his tree at 4.30. The male Little Owl peered momentarily out of his hole, but all I could see were the top of his head and a pair of white eyebrows. So here is a splendid picture taken of him by Virginia Grey a few days ago when he was in a more cooperative mood.

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