Thursday 23 March 2017

There was a new brood of four Egyptian goslings on the grassy bank at the back of the Lido swimming area. One was asleep on its mother's back ...

... and the other three were running around on the grass.

Blondie has lost another gosling and is now down to five. They wandered along the edge of the Serpentine, but she soon called them back.

The four young ones at the Round Pond have survived another night. Their father ran off to chase away some Greylags which were minding their own business.

Sometimes their mother also goes off on one of these pointless excursions, and it is then that the watchful Herring Gulls and Carrion Crows strike.

A short way off, a Carrion Crow was collecting swan feathers to line its nest.

The dominant Mute Swans on the Long Water have begun nesting on the little island that was made for them.

At the east end of the Serpentine, a pair of swans have smashed down the fence on another raft and started nesting in the reeds. They will relentlessly destroy all the plants on this part of the raft, as they did last year on the first raft, which was so thoroughly trashed that nothing has grown back.

The dominant male swan in this area chased another on to the shore.

The white Mallard and his mate were at the Dell restaurant. Over the winter the yellow colour has completely faded out of his feathers, and he is now as white as a swan.

The Great Crested Grebes whose territory is here were having a dispute with the pair from the island. and both pairs were circling in their low threat posture.

It was a windy day, and a Moorhen that turned downwind got spectacularly ruffled.

A young Herring Gull was playing drop-catch with a plastic packet.

A Grey Heron on the Long Water cleaned its bill with its foot, or possibly the other way round.

This is one of a pair of Long-Tailed Tits that are building a nest in a bush in the Rose Garden.

There are two pairs here, occupying two bushes.

The male Little Owl in the chestnut tree near the leaf yard looked out of his hole. But it was too windy for him to come right out.


  1. I wonder if legends about Attila's horse were really about nesting swans after all...

    Egyptian Geese's penchant for flying off at imaginary rivals while leaving chicks unattended must have an evolutionary advantage, surely, but I cannot see what it is for the life of me.

    That Moorhen is so fashionably dishevelled, it could make the next Vogue UK cover.

    1. I had to look up Attila's horse, but now I see what you mean. I suppose that in areas less richly grassy than an English park, having a big territory would be a good idea to furnish enough food for the chicks.

  2. I had thought it was an universal proverb and it turns out it only exists in Spanish ("He's worse than Attila's horse, where it passed grass did not grow again"). Sorry about that.

    A propos of nothing, but I don't know who else to ask: why are Griffon vultures called "Griffon" in English? In most other languages they are called a variation of "tawny".