Thursday 28 April 2016

The highlight of today's visit to the park was a trip round the island in a boat, a treat kindly provided by Mateusz of Bluebird Boats. There was a close-up view of the Great Crested Grebes' nest at the east end ...

... and of a Coot building a nest on a chain linking the posts surrounding the island. It's far from complete but already has the necessary decoration of some brightly coloured plastic bags.

There is another Coot nest inside one of the boathouses, and Mateusz unlocked the door on the water side. By crouching down on the floor it was possible to get an intimate view of Coots' domestic life.

The lower of the two Grey Herons' nests on the land side of the island still has only one chick in it, as you can tell from begging calls, and it's still out of sight inside the large mass of twigs.

The Black Swan had abandoned his half-finished nest on the island, an uncomfortable pile of branches, and was with his girlfriend on the south side of the Serpentine. He was picking up twigs and laying them on the edge of the water, as if trying to inspire her with the idea of a nest. She took no notice and carried on preening.

A pair of adult Mute Swans seen from the bridge were much more interested in each other.

Another view from the bridge: one of the Great Crested Grebes from the nearby nest diving.

Four Gadwalls were circling high over the Serpentine.

There were a few Swifts and House Martins over the lake, but they stayed too far away for a picture.

The Great Spotted Woodpecker on the east side of the Long Water was visible behind a sprig of blossom from what I think is a wild plum tree.

A Blackcap perched on a hawthorn near Peter Pan.

The male Little Owl in the chestnut tree had come out of his hole and was near the top, hard to see and I nearly missed him.


  1. I'm watching a brood of 7 coot chicks in the village pond Ralph. Being an upmarket pond, they have 2 nests, one on each side. One is last year's moorhen nest, which they have requisitioned, while the other is a beautifully constructed new-build (bespoke) Coot nest. The family uses both. Second home owners eh?

  2. They're more human than humans, Coots are.