Wednesday 20 April 2016

For several days there has been just one Cormorant on the Serpentine, an odd thing for these gregarious birds that flock up from the river when there are enough fish in the lake to interest them. Here it is reclining not very elegantly on a post near the island.

When I passed the Egyptian family on the Serpentine for the first time they had four chicks.

When I went by a second time they had three.  The culprits are not far to seek: a mob of Herring Gulls on the lake.

But why have the parents, who first brought their brood on to the Long Water, decided to take them up to the far end of the Serpentine where all the gulls are? It makes about as much sense as the Charge of the Light Brigade.

A few yards away, Blondie was stretching a pale wing. She has dallied with partners but doesn't yet have a mate.

The Black Swan was with his girlfriend next to the Dell restaurant terrace, where some people were throwing various kinds of unsuitable food into the water.

The Mute Swans nesting in the reed bed near the Diana fountain have at least one egg.

They had covered the nest carefully with leaves before going away, but a stiff breeze had disarranged them.

The swan nest near the small boathouse, which the gardeners had pulled into the water to discourage the swans from nesting in this exposed place, has been pulled back onshore again by some bird or other. But for the past two days there have been no swans near it, and a pair of Mallards are using it as a daybed.

The Coots near the Italian Garden still have four chicks. Coots are careful parents, and there is a high survival rate.

This is not the Mistle Thrush I photographed yesterday near the Albert Memorial. It is one of a pair that nest every year in trees near the Serpentine Gallery, and have successfully reared several young birds. We don't have many resident Mistle Thrushes, as opposed to winter migrants.

A Blue Tit in the leaf yard ate a pine nut I gave it, holding it down with its feet and pecking bits out of it.

The Little Owl in the oak tree near the Albert Memorial is now often spending the day in a different place lower down on the trunk of the tree.

But the one in the lime near the Henry Moore is sticking to his familiar hole.


  1. Ralph = with reference to your comment about the Canada Goose on the raft at the Long Water. Today, Wednesday I first saw it sitting there as usual but on my return about 30 minutes later it had left the raft and the pair were swimming around it. After a few minutes the female (I believe) just jump from the water into the raft using her wings. I did not see any eggs but it was difficult to be sure.

    1. Thanks. I'm sure you could have seen any eggs with the naked eye.

  2. The Cormorant looks exhausted. Do you think he is fine?
    Sigh. The Egyptians don't learn, not even with harsh experience.

    1. Cormorants do sometimes slump like that. I'm sure it's just digesting a heavy meal.