Wednesday 6 May 2015

Swifts ...

Swallows ...

and House Martins ...

... were enjoying the strong winds over the Serpentine. Only the House Martins stay in the park during the summer. The other two species just pass through from time to time, and there are seldom many Swallows.

In front of the reed bed near the Diana fountain, two Mallard drakes were in their endless pursuit of a female.

The two male Reed Warblers in this reed bed were both singing, and so was a third one on the other side of the bridge. There is also a Sedge Warbler, which I heard beside the Long Water in a tree near the fallen horse chestnut, but couldn't see, and two Willow Warblers on the other side. Blackcaps and Goldcrests, which are all round the lake, are also warblers, so we have a good selection.

A Grey Wagtail and a Pied Wagtail shared a perch on one of the floating reedbeds at the east end of the Serpentine. The Pied Wagtail, on the left, has a beakful of insects for its nestlings. The Grey Wagtail is the female of the pair and has evidently not started nesting yet.

In the water below them, a Mute Swan was watching two Coots engaged in one of their furious fights.

The Blue Tits nesting in the lamp post behind the Lido were both busy fetching food for their young.

So was this Starling, bringing a large caterpillar to the nestlings in one of the plane trees next to the small boathouse. It is a male one, as you can see from the blue tinge at the base of its bill.

Two Jackdaws were overlooking the terrace of the Lido restaurant from strategically placed bushes. Only a couple of people were braving the weather and eating outside, but you could see what was on the birds' minds. This summer you will have the choice of having your food stolen by Jackdaws at the Lido or the Grey Heron at the Dell.

The male Tawny Owl, who was clearly uncomfortable in the strong wind yesterday, had found a new perch and I couldn't see him. But the male Little Owl emerged from his hole, sprinkled with bits of dead leaf from inside the tree.


  1. Ralph, I though you might be interested to know that there is a pigeon-killing gull in St James Park! I found a Herring Gull with a recently-dead pigeon, and saw presumably the same bird stalking the pigeon flock lunging at individual birds. This time it was unsuccessful and flew off

    1. Thanks. Yes, I've heard of this gull, though I haven't seen it in action. Did you see it near the bridge, perhaps at the northeast corner?

  2. It was by the bridge, but on the SE corner. The pigeon flock was on gravel just by the bridge.
    If you visit the park, you'll enjoying seeing a Great Crested Grebe family with 3 chicks

  3. Photos of those chicks please!