Friday 29 April 2016

A Common Sandpiper appeared on the Long Water. This picture was taken from a considerable distance by Mike Meilack.

The first definite sighting this year of a Reed Warbler was in the patchy reed bed to the east of the Lido.

I had heard what was probably Reed Warbler sub-song on the Long Water a week ago, but wasn't sure. This one was singing full out, and unmistakable.

It was a strange day of sun, wind, thunder and sleet. During the last of these, a new family of Egyptian Geese made an excursion up the side of the Diana fountain.

The Great Crested Grebes nesting near the bridge have lost their eggs in unexplained circumstances, and have deserted their nest, though it is still intact. They were building a new one, their third this year, nearer the bridge in the same place as the first.

This is an unstable nest site, though better sheltered than the other. But anyway, they have almost no chance of raising chicks from a spring nest, because there aren't enough small fish yet.

The Black Swan was cruising with his girlfriend, and they came over for some digestive biscuits.

The girlfriend is a large and violent swan, and I try to put food for her on the ground or in the water, because she bites. However, she sneaked in and bit me hard on the hand when I was looking the wrong way. Meanwhile a Canada Goose, which I was not feeding, was pecking me in the shins.

A Grey Wagtail flew down to the water's edge at the Lido restaurant.

Later I saw it with a beak full of insects for its young.

A Moorhen crossed the waterfall in the Dell.

Beside the avenue of plane trees that leads from the Albert Memorial to the Physical Energy statue, a Carrion Crow was amusing itself by repeatedly buzzing a pair of Egyptian Geese.

This Blue Tit near in the clump of birch trees the Italian Garden was also being very aggressive, chasing off Great Tits. It is one of a pair, and evidently they are nesting in these trees.

There was a male Blackcap in a bush above the fallen horse chestnut tree in the Long Water.

The male Little Owl in the oak tree near the Albert Memorial took advantage of a brief sunny spell to come out of his hole and perch on a branch.


  1. Ralph, one of these days you're going to become a martyr for the cause. Ungrateful folks, the lot of'em.

    Now seriously, in that pic anyone can see how large the Girlfriend is. Is she larger than other females at the lake?

    1. It's difficult to judge the size of swans, as they won't line up to be surveyed. But the girlfriend is definitely one of the larger swans on the lake. She looks even bigger next to her admirer, because Black Swans are smaller than Mute Swans.

  2. How is your hand?
    Hope it's OK
    Great Reed Warbler photo.
    Nice to have them back!

    1. All is well, thank you. But that swan is a bruiser.