Sunday 7 February 2016

The nest-building craze has now hit a third pair of Great Crested Grebes, who were just starting a haphazard construction on one of the baskets of water plants at the east end of the Serpentine.

Grebes do manage to attach nests to the outside of rafts, by poking twigs into the mesh until they make a tangle. Several nests of this kind have succeeded behind the baskets surrounding the island.

The other two nests are still occupied. This is the one under the willow near the bridge.

The Black Swan was also at the east end of the Serpentine, and was amusing himself by chasing Mute Swans out of the enclosure behind the rafts.

He also cleared some off one of the rafts. His adversary, the big white male swan who can dominate him, was absent, or the result would have been different.

A young Herring Gull near Peter Pan was eating what appeared to be an apricot. They will eat just about anything, the key to their success.

One of the Pochard-Tufted Duck hybrids was nearer inshore.

People keep saying that they have seen a female Scaup, and indeed there is a resemblance in size and shape. But this bird is a richer brown than the rather ashy-looking female Scaup, and has only a faint pattern on its back and sides where a Scaup has quite strong vermiculated markings.

The Kingfisher was in his usual place -- surprisingly reliable but much too far away.

One of these days it will perch on the willow tree at the Italian Garden and there may be a chance of a better picture.

A Nuthatch came out of the leaf yard to take food from the railings.

A flock of Long-Tailed Tits passed through the trees beside the Henry Moore sculpture.

There were no sightings of owls. On the Little Owls' oak tree near the Albert Memorial, a pair of Stock Doves were canoodling.

The year before last they evicted the Little Owls from their hole, and probably plan to do it again. There are some leaves inside the hole, indicating that they have been inside already. Owls don't build nests, they just find a suitably shaped place inside a tree.

A Wood Pigeon was eating leaf buds near the Italian Garden.


  1. Lovely to meet you today and thank you for sharing your knowledge
    I learnt a lot
    Hopefully see you again soon

    1. Good to meet you too. Always happy to rant on about my obsessions.