Tuesday 28 February 2017

Both Grey Herons were in the top nest on the island. These three nests have progressed slowly and uncertainly, and you can never be sure that they are actually active until one day you see a gawky young bird standing up in one.

Great Crested Grebes are also very indecisive about nesting. But a third pair seem to be interested, pulling out twigs from one of the reed rafts at the east end of the Serpentine. The larger rafts have a hole in the middle which looks as if it would make a fine nest site and I have seen grebes making a nest in one, but none has succeeded so far.

The Kingfisher was in a bush on the west side of the Long Water.

A Cormorant caught a perch in the water underneath. Evidently different sizes of fish are still available here.

Several Herring Gulls were washing themselves at the top of the Diana fountain.

A Carrion Crow which had been given a bit of very stale Arab flatbread made it edible by dunking it in the Serpentine.

A couple of Long-Tailed Tits were leaping about in a tree on the shore.

A Coal Tit was looking for insects in crevices in the bark.

A Great Tit looked out from among new leaves beside the Long Water.

There were plenty of Redwings in and under the trees at the bottom of the Parade Ground.

The female Little Owl near the Albert Memorial was enjoying the morning sunshine.

But there was a chilly wind, and the owl near the Henry Moore sculpture was sheltering low down in her hole.

Monday 27 February 2017

Frequent rain didn't put off the small birds from streaming out of the bushes to be fed. This is one of the pair of Coal Tits near the bridge ...

... and here are a Blue Tit ...

... and a Robin ...

... from the railed-off enclosure on the east side of the Long Water. The enclosures in Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park -- another one is the Dell -- were set up as bird sanctuaries in 1922, I think in memory of the naturalist W.H. Hudson who had just died, and who has his memorial in the Rima relief and pools.

A Pied Wagtail was running along the edge of the Serpentine, calling loudly though I could see no other Pied Wagtail near.

The Redwings were hunting for worms in the wet grass on the Parade Ground.

A pair of Feral Pigeons were canoodling with undampened ardour.

The Kingfisher could be seen in several places around the Long Water, and finally arrived on his usual branch.

One of the Grey Herons on the island flew down from its nest and walked along the edges of the bushes, peering in. It seemed to be looking for a rat. It's likely that there are rats on the island, because they are strong swimmers.

The Great Crested Grebes were maintaining their nest in the bushes at the east end of the island.

Grebes' nests have to be constantly built up as they slump slowly into the water. There are two visible nests, the other one under the willow near the bridge. It's unusual to see two pairs of grebes nesting in early spring here, as the main breeding season is from midsummer on, because of the supply of small fish in the lake which are neeeded to feed the young. However, the fact that there is at least one Kingfisher here seems to show that there are more small fish than usual at this time of year.

For several days there have been just three Red-Crested Pochards on the lake, two males and a female.

And there are two pairs of Gadwalls. We never get many, but 80 have been seen in Battersea Park recently.

The dominant Mute Swan on the Serpentine near the bridge was in his usual foul mood.

One thing that Herring Gulls won't eat: taco chips. I saw two gulls that had been given these things examine them briefly and walk away.

Sunday 26 February 2017

The Bar-Headed Goose that wanders in from time to time decided to pay us a visit. It is a very elegant bird.

A few Red-Headed Pochards also turned up. This one had the fluffiest head.

There are still half a dozen Shovellers on the Long Water. They decided to fly around the lake.

The Kingfisher was distantly visible on the west side of the Long Water.

A Moorhen stood at the top of the Dell waterfall.

A Great Crested Grebe guarded the nest on the island. There had been a Moorhen on it earlier, which had to be shooed off.

A Redwing pulled up a worm on the Parade Ground.

A few moments of sunlight flattered the glossy plumage of a Carrion Crow in the Rose Garden.

A few Goldfinches were chattering in the trees above it.

A Magpie was not excited by the daffodils coming out beside the Long Water.

But a Rose-Ringed Parakeet appreciated the spring blossom in its own way.

The male Nuthatch of the pair in the leaf yard was singing. His mate perched amid emerging leaves.

The Little Owl near the Henry Moore sculpture ventured out of her hole for a few minutes.

Saturday 25 February 2017

On a very quiet day the only action was a four-way Coot fight on the Long Water.

The Coots nesting at the bridge were repairing the storm damage to their nest.

You have to admire their persistence, but it is quite obvious that if they have any chicks in this exposed spot the gulls will get them at once. There are plenty of suitable bushes for a nest site on the Long Water where they could do much better, but they have chosen this silly place and are stubbornly sticking to it.

A few feet away, a Cormorant caught another perch.

A Greylag finished washing and had a flap to settle its feathers.

Grey ducks on a grey day: a pair of Gadwalls were cruising on the Serpentine.

A Grey Heron flew around the island before settling in the top nest. It was not changing places with a sitting bird, so evidently there are no eggs in this nest yet.

I think that only the bottom nest has eggs. It's hard to be sure of developments, because when a heron sits down in one of these deep nests it disappears from view.

Goldcrests were singing all round the lake.

The winter has been mild enough for a good survival rate, and the two previous winters were mild now, and these tiny birds have really multiplied.

There were also several groups of Long-Tailed Tits.

The feeder in the Rose Garden has run out, so there wasn't much to see there, but a female Blackbird was looking for worms under a bush.

A Blue Tit posed prettily with some new leaves sprouting in the background.

And a Robin was looking as charming as they always do.

The Redwings are still on the Parade Ground.