Monday 9 May 2016

Birds were collecting food for their young all over the park. A Magpie had found a grub next to the bridge.

A Starling from one of the nests in the plane trees near the boathouse was on the other side of the Serpentine gathering insects.

The Mistle Thrush on the east side of the Albert Memorial had a caterpillar, and seemed to be removing one end of it before flying up to its nest in the plane tree. It worked on it for about a minute in a purposeful way. Maybe this part of the caterpillar is distasteful.

The Canada Geese whose goslings were rescued from the raft had only three this morning, as was expected. But they imprudently ventured out in the open water on the Serpentine, and quickly lost two more to Herring Gulls.

There were about 80 Herring Gulls on the lake, down from 200 yesterday but quite enough to wreak havoc on young birds. There was also an enormous Great Black-Backed Gull, whose speckled plumage showed that it was coming up to two years old. It takes a long time for these gulls to achieve a fully adult appearance.

The two Coot chicks from the nest in the small boathouse were only 30 feet from this dangerous bird, browsing on algae, but luckily hadn't been noticed.

There is a happier story of bird rescue. Virginia Grey was at the Pond yesterday and found four newly hatched Mallard ducklings which their mother had deserted after she was attacked by an Egyptian Goose. Three of them had been rescued by some girls, and the fourth she found herself. The park doesn't have facilities for rearing ducklings, but luckily one of the girls knew of a school for children with mental health problems where they look after baby birds. So off the ducklings went in a paper bag, and were reported today to be dong well. This is Virginia's picture of them.

Update: It's Northgate School at Edgware Community Hospital. Good luck to them.

Here is another view of the young Grey Heron looking out of its nest on the island. I think there's only one, as I have not seen or heard another in several days.

A Goldcrest appeared briefly in the yew tree north of Peter Pan.

The male Little Owl in the chestnut tree was on a high branch enjoying the sunshine while it lasted.

A rabbit was reclining in the shade of the Henry Moore arch in an attitude that the sculptor would have appreciated.


  1. Yay for the rescued baby Mallards! It makes me so happy to read about the good people on this earth.

    Even if not yet grown to full adulthood, that GBB looks imposing. Someone I know once compared them to a bouncer (no offence meant to bouncers - quite the opposite): vacant-stared, massive, and positively threatening-looking even when not doing particularly much.

    1. It's already as big as an adult. But it takes them four years to grow their full adult plumage.