Saturday 13 February 2016

The Egyptian Geese at the Dell restaurant are down to one chick, but they have had the sense to take shelter under the tables on the terrace, where there is enough grass between the paving stones to feed a very small bird.

Virginia Grey, who watches the Egyptians attentively, says that there are two nests at the Round Pond, one between the pond and the Long Water, and one in the Diana fountain enclosure. Here is the male of the pair enjoying the rapids in the fountain.

Update: here is Virginia's picture of her favourite at the Round Pond leaving her nest in the oak tree.

A Pied Wagtail was also on the terrace, looking for insects in the gaps between the stones.

A Grey Wagtail was at the other restaurant at the Lido, running up and down the edge. This is the young bird hatched last year, still without the black bib of an adult.

The Black Swan had moved into a new place on the rafts at the east end of the Serpentine, and was tearing up the plants. His neck occasionally appeared over the top of the reeds, looking slightly like a brontosaurus.

Girlfriend number one was nearby, but not helping.

There were eleven Gadwalls on the Serpentine, the most I have seen in the park. Here are four of them on the island.

The Great Crested Grebes who built an nest at the east end of the island and abandoned it have made another nest a few feet away. Evidently the abandoned the first one because it was sinking -- or at least sinking too fast: grebes' soggy nests constantly subside and have to be built up daily.

A Black-Headed Gull was playing with a cork. It was much enjoying the way it bobbed up when dropped into the water.

The Rose-Ringed Parakeets have extended their range to the Henry Moore statue. They expand their territory, in the sense of a place where they are happy to sit rather than just flying through, quite slowly. One of them was wandering around aimlessly on the path. There were few passers by to disturb her on a cold drizzly day.

Even the spikiest bramble presents no problems to an agile Blue Tit.

One of the Peregrines was in the pairs' usual daytime place on the 300ft tower of the Metropole Hilton Hotel.


  1. Hi Ralph,

    Could you explain how to find the little owls next to the Albert memorial please? I've been looking for the right oak tree but can't seem to find it.



    1. Walk north from the Albert Memorial on the path towards the Physical Energy statue. When you get to the bicycle path (now closed for the addition of obstacles), turn left along it. Walk 50 yards to the crossing of the next footpath. On the near left corner of the crossing is an oak tree. Look to your left for the nearest plane tree -- there is only one here. Between these two trees is another oak tree. This has the Little Owls' hole in it. To see it, stand near the plane tree and look for a thick branch coming out of the right of the oak about 30 feet up, with a big round hole in it.

  2. Excellent directions, thanks! I'll take a look soon. Lucy.