Wednesday 1 April 2015

The Mute Swans have finally managed to trample down the wire mesh fence of one of the reed rafts at the east end of the Serpentine and climb on to it. Two of them decided it would be a good place for a nest, and soon chased the others off.

They are right about this: it would be a fine place, safe from foxes. They would have to take care of the many Herring Gulls when the cygnets were small, but they are solicitous parents and would probably manage. We shall see what happens.

The Scaup was still at this end of the lake, sheltering behind the reed rafts. When the wind died down a bit he came out with the Tufted Ducks and took food from the visitors to the Dell restaurant.

The Goldeneye had moved up the lake almost to the Lido. She was quite near the shore, and I managed to get some closer pictures of her.

Mallard drakes were chasing a female all round the Serpentine.

Great Crested Grebes normally fly only when they have to, but sometimes a stiff headwind will induce them to have a little hop. Since they work up speed for the takeoff mainly with their feet, a headwind allows them to take off after only a few yards rather than the 50 required in still air.

The Coots' nest to the north of Peter Pan, which had been started and then abandoned, is a going concern again. Here the male is bringing a twig to the female.

Some of the Jackdaws have started hanging out just to the north of the Albert Memorial, where they instantly spot me and fly down to demand peanuts.

A short sunny spell brought the female Little Owl out of her chestnut tree for a couple of minutes.


  1. Do you happen to know how many owls there are in the park? we wondered if there were any owlets?

    1. Certainly two pairs of Tawnies, several pairs of Little Owls but we only know the home territory of two pairs -- more have been seen hunting at night. And everyone would like to know where the owlets are, as I have said several times over the past two weeks.

    2. Do you worry about the owlets being disturbed by hordes of bird-watchers, if they are located Ralph? Obviously I wouldn't include you in this. But not all tread as lightly as you I fear.

    3. They're usually way up a tree and out of harm's way. Owlets do get grounded sometimes, though, and in recent years people have rescued two. They should be picked up quickly and put on the highest branch you can reach. They are good climbers and should get farther up by themseves.