Friday 6 May 2016

There is a new family of Egyptian Geese on the Serpentine, at least for the time being. When I passed, the circling gulls had already taken all but two chicks.

The four young Egyptians on the Round Pond are still hanging on, and are now almost large enough to be safe from gulls.

Virginia Grey reported yesterday that another pair of Egyptians on the Round Pond had hatched five, but I couldn't find these when I went round. Also, the Coots have nested again on the platform with the solar panel and evidently still have some chicks, as they were sitting tight on the nest, but it was impossible to see anything. Some Mandarin ducklings also appeared here a few days ago but were eaten within hours.

The Coots nesting on the fallen poplar in the relative safety of the Long Water, where there is plenty of cover, have found a wonderful new ornament for their nest, a football decorated with Superman images.

The Black Swan was on the island, guarding the nest he has made for himself, a very uncomfortable-looking pile of branches.

A Cormorant on the other side of the island was feeling the heat, and was panting to cool down.

A Magpie was sunbathing on the edge of the leaf yard.

A Pied Wagtail was running briskly along the edge of the Serpentine, unnoticed by the crowds and not taking much notice of people. It ran past me only inches away.

A pair of Goldcrests were leaping around in the yew tree north of Peter Pan.

Offshore from Peter Pan, a pair of Gadwalls passed over a shoal of fair-sized carp.

But Paul had seen a much bigger carp under the parapet of the Italian Garden, which must have weighed over 30 pounds.

The Little Owl in the chestnut tree was looking suspiciously out of his hole.

Higher up in the same tree, a pair of Parakeets have nested.


  1. How depressing. Poor babies, they don't stand a chance against some of Nature's most efficient and intelligent killers :-(

    Thank God, all is forgotten when you get to the picture of the lurking Little Owl. He's a born comedian.

    1. He's being quite difficult at the moment. But we are hoping for some naive Little owlets who will just sit there looking charming.

  2. Wonder how the coots got that football to their nest. I know they have a powerful kick, but it must have been a hilarious sight, however they did it. Jim n.L.

    1. I've seen a Coot trying to manoeuvre a silver helium balloon with a series of pecks. I think the bird probably did it the same way. A heavier object, but at least it didn't keep blowing about.

  3. Hi Ralph, thanks so much for sharing your photos and your knowledge. I was very delighted to follow your instructions regarding the little owls yesterday and was fortunate to see my first wild owl in the UK at the sculpture site yesterday. Now that I know the three sites I look forward to visiting more and hope that I get a glimpse of the others too!