Sunday 24 May 2015

A pair of Reed Warblers were hopping about amicably together near the Diana fountain. One of them came up on a reed stem, holding a bit of nesting material.

Two days ago Paul Turner saw one gathering fluff from a black poplar tree to make a comfortable nest lining.

At the bridge, the pair of Moorhens were spending an unusually long time together.

I wondered whether the eggs were hatching in this unlikely nest. But the sitting bird didn't get up, so I couldn't see.

Every year Coots compete for the most unsuitable nest site. This nest, somehow attached to what must be a bit of sunken branch in the middle of the Long Water, is a contender.

But it is easily beaten by this one on the corner of the platform of Bluebird Boats, with two boats constantly coming and going right next to it. The boat people won't disturb the birds, of course, but they could hardly have chosen a busier spot.

While their mates are nesting, the Mallard drakes on the Long Water have been behaving in their usual hooligan fashion, squabbling and chasing each other around.

The male Cetti's Warbler is still singing loudly, but as usual was completely invisible. While I was trying to see him, a Coal Tit came out of the bushes and allowed me to give it a pine nut.

The male Little Owl was in his usual tree, dozing on a warm afternoon.

Alarm calls from a Carrion Crow flying over the Vista showed that there was a raptor overhead, and there it was, several hundred feet up and hard to see. As one does, I took pictures first and tried to work out what it was later. The pale patches near the wingtips look like those of a Red Kite, but it definitely doesn't have a forked tail. It held its wings in this rather swept-back falcon-like position in every picture I took, and they don't look broad enough to be those of a Buzzard. I really don't know what it is -- suggestions please.


  1. Peregrine with its tail fanned out? Hmm

    1. Yes for the general shape, and they do fan their tails out when they turn, as do all birds that normally hold their tail straight. But I don't know what to make of the pale patches just visible at the outer ends of the wings, which could be Red Kite or Buzzard but definitely not a falcon.

  2. It's a kite (flexed wings with pale primary-panels underneath, plus twisting tail). Although in this rear view the tail is fanned, if indeed the tail is not deeply forked then Black Kite is a real possibility, Ralph (although the conspicuous contrast in the wing-panels to me suggests Red Kite). May I urge you to send all your photos of the bird (if you still have the others) to Richard Bonser at the London Bird Club. His email addy is richbonser8181 at

    1. Thanks for that. Will send the picture to Richard Bonser and see what he says.

    2. I've already emailed it to him.