Sunday 19 March 2017

Blondie the Egyptian Goose has another brood of seven. She is an attentive mother, and last year managed to raise three of seven goslings, which is pretty good going on the Serpentine, thronged as it is with Herring Gulls.

The four young Egyptians at the Round Pond were still in good order.

Their watchful meerkat-like posture is hard to explain. They were looking out on to the choppy waves raised by a stiff breeze, breaking on the shore in front of them. Perhaps they wanted to go into the water but it was too rough for them.

The Egyptians without families on the Serpentine were passing the time by chasing each other.

The pair of Mandarins on the Serpentine were walking around the grass some way from the south shore.

It looks as if they are going to nest here, a very bad idea as their ducklings wouldn't stand a chance on the open lake.

A pair of Gadwalls were sheltering from the wind behind the reed rafts at the east end of the Serpentine.

The Serpentine reed beds are protected by netting on poles to stop birds from getting in and damaging the reeds. This never worked, of course -- birds will always get in if they want to, and both Mute Swans and Coots have broken through and made nests. Now the poles and netting are being renewed, and the swans have made the most of the open edge and built several nests, wrecking large areas of reeds as they always do.

A Moorhen was also taking advantage of the easy access.

Another was eating the new shoots of the willow tree near the bridge.

Swans are also very fond of willow, and the leaves hanging down over the lake are soon trimmed to the maximum height above the water that a swan can reach.

The Great Crested Grebes at the island were at their nest.

A little way along the shore there were two young Cormorants and an adult. It takes Cormorants two full years to reach a fully adult appearance, and these speckled brown young ones are less than a year old.

There was no sign of a Little Owl for the second day running. It wasn't the kind of weather to bring them out of their holes. In the top of the owl tree near the Henry Moore statue, a Carrion Crow flew out of the nest.

By the way, this pair of crows is not Charlie and Melissa, as I first thought. These are now mostly found on the Hyde Park side of the bridge.

The intrusive female Mallard was again on top of the owls' nest hole in the tree near the Albert Memorial.

She may be large and persistent enough to scare them off. The owls haven't started breeding and can easily choose another hole nearby -- but then we have to find them all over again.

At the bottom of the tree, a male Blackbird was looking finely glossy in a sunny spell.

There are two pairs of Coal Tits in the Rose Garden. One pair were visiting the feeders. The others were looking for insects in the peculiar trees pruned and trained into rectangular shapes that line the south edge of the garden.


  1. I think they are pleached limes. Eventually they won't need the framework any more.

    1. Thanks. Will look at the leaves when they first appear.

  2. Hello, Dear!!!
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    1. Please feel free to use any of my pictures if you want.