Wednesday 27 April 2016

The lower of the two Grey Herons' nests visible on the island has a chick in it. I could only see vague movement through the rim of the nest, but the young bird's begging call, 'tut-tut-tut, tut-tut' could be clearly heard. Possibly in a day or so there will be the sound of more chicks begging.

I haven't seen any activity in the higher nest for several days, but it's too early to write it off, especially as the nest is huge and impossible to see into. The third nest on the far side of the island is invisible bothe from here and from the opposite shore, and I only know it's there because Malcolm the Wildlife Office found it when he has on the island.

There were other signs of nests in progress. A Robin and a Wren were dashing around in the reed bed on the east side of the Long Water near the Italian Garden, and the Robin came out at the front for a few seconds. The picture shows that it was collecting insects for its nestlings.

This may be the same Wren, seen minutes later a few yards along the path.

A Starling on the pavement at the east end of the Serpentine was carrying a white caterpillar, not trying to eat it, so this probably went to a nestling as well.

At the Mute Swans' nest on the little island in the Long Water, a second pair of Coots were trying to build a nest. The swan resented this and pecked at them. Both Coots put up some resistance, but eventually they were driven off.

A female Blue Tit, on the left of this picture, was fluttering her wings and imitating the harsh begging call of a chick, to test that her mate would feed her when she was on her nest.

He gave her several pine nuts which I supplied to him, so I think he passed the test. When she finally quietened down, he came and took a last one for himself.

The three pairs of Little Owls are also presumably nesting. The male owl in the lime tree near the Henry Moore sculpture looked out of his hole although the late morning was cloudy and chilly ...

... and then when the sun came out and the temperature went up, the male emerged from the chestnut tree near the leaf yard ...

... and the one in the oak near the Albert Memorial came right out on to a branch.

The sole surviving Egyptian gosling on the Serpentine is still hanging on.

A Wood Pigeon was having a bath in the little pool at the top of the Dell Waterfall.

I couldn't find the Black Swan today. But he has taken to disappearing among the bushes on the island.


  1. The Coot deserves some sort of prize for determination, gutsiness (is that a word?), or perhaps foolishness.
    Lovely picture of the Blue Tits' couple!

    1. They are unstoppable. The swans had to accept the first pair's nest on their island, and quite likely the same thing will happen again.