Tuesday 14 March 2017

A Wigeon drake visited the Long Water, the first seen here for some time. He was alone -- the duck on the right is a Shoveller, one of a few left on the lake after most of them have left.

There were four male Mandarins and two females at Peter Pan. They wouldn't pose for a group shot, so here is just one couple.

The two very dark Mallards with white fronts are clearly brothers. This picture looks as if it had been subjected to some weird digital manipulation, but it is just as it came from the camera. The very shiny iridescent heads are striking.

A Moorhen was walking round the marble fountain in the Italian Garden, as near to the edge as it could go without slipping off. I'm sure they do these things on purpose because they enjoy their sure-footedness.

In the water below, a Cormorant caught a small carp.

The Great Crested Grebes at the island were busily maintaining their nest, but I don't think they have any eggs yet.

Another grebe flew down the Serpentine. They really don't look at home in the air.

A pair of Mute Swans charged in the same direction and laboriously heaved themselves up. But once they have taken off, their flight looks majestic.

There have been no further casualties in the Egyptian Goose family at the Round Pond.

A group of Pied Wagtails were flying and running around the grass between the Triangle car park and the Serpentine Lodge. They like this place. It was returfed after the 2012 Olympics, and the high-quality grass seems to harbour a better class of insect.

Nearby, in the small plane trees next to the boathouses, a Starling was going in and out of a hole. The nesting season has begun.

A male Rose-Ringed Parakeet in the Rose Garden had an unusually broad and bright neck ring.

I wondered whether it was an Alexandrine Parakeet, which has a pink neck patch rather than a ring, but the lower mandible of its bill was black, not red as in an Alexandrine, and it was the same size as the other Parakeets where Alexandrines are larger.

The female Little Owl was looking out from the lime tree near the Henry Moore sculpture.

These Tawny Owl pellets were found by Abigail Day, who took this picture. They were under a chestnut tree in the small fenced-off area at the northwest corner of the Diana playground, near the Orme Square Lodges. She reports that there is a hole in the tree with white droppings on the edge.

Several years ago, when our sadly missed Tawny Owls were still occupying their tree, one of the gardeners saw a Tawny next to the lodges early one morning. It's likely that this is the same one, and also that it's the owl recently seen a short way to the west on the bird table in Palace Gardens Terrace.


  1. I suppose the Great Crested Grebe will think that not all can be Gulls, who swim, walk, and fly all equally well.

    While reading about Gabi Mann and on how crows and ravens can bring gifts to people that give them food(the story is here http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-31604026) I wondered if Charlie and Melissa, or any other crow, have ever given you any object?

  2. I've heard of corvids giving people presents. Esther Woolfson, in her book Corvus, tells how her rook Chicken would stuff prawns down the neck of her dress. But no favours from Charlie or Melissa, those practical creatures.

  3. I loved that book. I was often in tears, sometimes of laughter, sometimes not.