Wednesday 13 May 2015

There are baby birds all over the place. A pair of Greylag Geese on the Serpentine have three goslings.

There is a new brood of six little Egyptians as well. Both families were seen near the island.

A pair of Coots, I think the one that were nesting in the small boathouse, have brought out three chicks.

There are loud sounds of hungry Starling chicks from one of the adjacent plane trees, and I held my smartphone up to the hole to try to take a picture, but it just showed a black hole.

Workmen were jet-washing the edge of the pond in the Italian Garden right next to the Coots' nest, but they were careful not to spray the nest. The Coot sat there imperturbably.

The Grey Heron from the Dell restaurant was wading amond the pigeons on the edge of the lake, where someone had dumped several pounds of leftover falafel. At the moment it sees them as rivals, but I have a feeling that soon it will be following the example of the Lesser Black-Backed Gull and seeing them as lunch.

Most of the Pochards on the lake are migrants. We get 40 or more in winter, then they go away leaving a few permanent residents. There used to be only three of these, a drake with a broken wing and two females. But this year at least half a dozen have stayed behind. They might even start trying to breed here.

The male Little Owl was out on his tree enjoying the last of the sunshine before the weather turns nasty tomorrow.

As for the Tawny Owl, there were still noises of angry Jay and Magpies in his tree, but no sign of the owl himself.

This golden koi is a long-term resident, probably dumped in the lake by its owner several years ago because it has an ugly face. It has grown to an enormous size, at least 20 lb. It ranges all over the lake, and today it was under the parapet of the Italian Garden.


  1. Been to the Beaulieu River, bird-watching Ralph. Managed to see a Lapwing twice pottering by the water's edge. Stunning head-dress and another bird ticked off on my 2015 must-see list! Just the Little Grebe left.

    1. Well done. We had a couple of Lapwings here a few years ago, first-year ones. They were completely unafraid of people and trotted around a bit of grass covered with picnickers, looking curiously at them.

  2. I did see a Lapwing over by the 'Winter Wonderland' this winter. It landed briefly amongst some Black Headed gulls, had a look around and quickly took off again.

    1. I'd have felt the same if I'd landed there.