Thursday 30 March 2017

A Blackcap was singing in a tree near Peter Pan, the first time I have heard this beautiful song this year.

A Wren was also singing in a hawthorn tree on the terrace of the Dell restaurant, his tiny body quivering with the effort of producing such a loud song.

A pair of Blue Tits are building a nest inside the cast-iron column of a gas lamp post on the south side of the Serpentine. This is not the lamp post I have photographed in earlier years, at the back of the Lido swimming area, numbered 76 in white paint. It's two lamp posts farther east, number 78.

The Mute Swans nesting on the little island in the Long Water are tearing the place up as usual. They reduced the island to two thirds of its size last year. This year they'll be lucky to have an island left by the time the cygnets hatch.

The Canada Geese who unwisely nested on the tern raft in the Long Water last year are at it again. The goslings will be trapped by the plastic sides of the raft and will have to be rescued, as they were before.

This Canada on the Serpentine has a larger area of white on its head than usual, with black speckles.

The tendency to speckles is quite common, and in Canada-Greylag hybrids it comes out strongly.

The Egyptian goslings at the Lido were in good shape, but their mother was ruffled by the brisk wind.

Blondie's family were in their usual place on the south shore of the Serpentine. This is only a few yards from the place where Blondie herself was hatched three years ago, in the reed bed at the east end of the lake. She never leaves her home turf for long.

The four little Egyptians on the Round Pond were all right too. One of them struggled up the granite kerb on to the shore.

This is the male Great Crested Grebe of the pair nesting on the island. One or the other has been constantly on the nest for several days, and surely they must have eggs by now.

The Jays are not coming to be fed as often as before, as they can now find plenty of food on their own. But this one usually waits in the shrubbery at the southeast corner of the bridge and comes out when I go by.

A Wood Pigeon near the Rose Garden had found a piece of bread and was eating it by shaking it violently until a piece came off.

Inside the garden a male Rose-Ringed Parakeet was looking conspicuous in a copper beech.

And a brilliant Peacock butterfly was eclipsed by the garish border.

The male Little Owl appeared again in the oak tree near the Albert Memorial.

I had my video camera with me, and took this video of him. But it's not good, as the wind was making the tripod quiver.

Update: readers of the London Bird Club Wiki will have noticed that a Goshawk was seen over the Round Pond at 1.30 pm, which is when I was off fetching the video camera. This would be a first view for the park, though I wouldn't add something to the species list on the basis of one sighting, even by a serious birder (which I wish I was). There was also a sighting of a Dunlin on the Serpentine on Wednesday, which I missed, though I did see a Dunlin here years ago.


  1. Hi ralph,is it possible that the canada goose is a canada/barnacle hybrid?.......

    1. Possible, I suppose. But it's as big as a Canada and has a normal-sized bill.

  2. Are those Blue Tits the tenants from Lampost 76? Or have they learned from their neighbours that this is a good place?

    1. I'd guess different. Lamp post 76 is as it always has been, and I heard a Blue Tit singing near there the other day. Just haven't seen any visiting it yet.

  3. Lovely to see the owl in action.