Monday 20 February 2017

A second Great Crested Grebes' nest is going up on the Long Water, south of Peter Pan and hard to see through the twigs.

The largest of the young Mute Swans on the Long Water, a hulking male with the same thuggish temperament as his father, was clearing a lot of swans, including several adults, off the lake.

This gave his parents space to mate undisturbed. However, they haven't yet established a nest site, either on their artificial island or anywhere else. They left it very late last year too, and allowed a Canada Goose to nest on the island.

The young swans are in for a shock soon when their parents kick them out. But I think the big male is going to fight his way up the pecking order quickly.

Against all odds, the incompetent Egyptian Geese by the Henry Moore sculpture still have their one surviving chick.

The Kingfisher was on his usual perch in the willow tree by the Italian Garden.

A Great Spotted Woodpecker appeared at the top of a tree in the leaf yard.

One of the Peregrines from the Edgware Road flew high over the leaf yard. It was only visible for two seconds between the trees, but Tom managed to grab this shot of it.

Both Nuthatches came down to feed from the railings.

A pair of Goldcrests flitted about in the yew tree next to the bridge.

The Redwings were still on the Parade Ground.

Paul saw 40 Redwings early this morning on the patch of wood chips under the plane trees south of the Speke obelisk, a place they have often visited before. Probably it was the same flock, and this is their early morning feeding place before the park gets too busy.

The Dunnock in the Rose Garden came so close that I couldn't photograph it -- my big lens has a minimum distance of 6ft 6in. It accepted some pine nuts thrown on to the path. Here it is a bit farther away in a bush.

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

The one near the Henry Moore sculpture seems to prefer the dark side of the branch. She was in an awkward place and I couldn't get close to her.


  1. Have the Egyptians finally come to their senses, I wonder, or was it sheer luck that one of their babies has survived so long under their (so to speak) care?

    That young Mute Swan looks promising. Promising, that is, if one is bent on a successful life of bullying and thuggery.

    Ralph, have you ever seen a behaviour such as this in Blackcaps?

    A female Blackcap drinking nectar and eating pollen from plum tree flowers. The blogger says he's seen common chiffchafs and sardinian warblers do it as well.

  2. I think that the survival (so far) of the Egyptian baby is sheer blind luck. Its mother was letting it wander off as usual.

    I've seen tits probing blossom on trees, but I always assumed they were looking for insects. Unsure how the author of this blog knew what the Blackcaps were looking for.

  3. That's more reasonable than thinking that they are drinking nectar, that is for sure. The pollen staining is no proof either way.

    Very glad to see the Egyptian baby is still alive today. How long until it is out of immediate danger from gulls?

    1. There is an interesting post about Blackcaps feeding on nectar here and some photographs (even of a House Sparrow) here.

    2. Oh wow, I didn't know that! Thank you so very much! And it's from África Gómez' blog, too.