Thursday, 11 May 2017

The Carrion Crows from the nest near the Henry Moore sculpture were tormenting a Grey Heron, first squaring up to it on the ground ...

... then flying at it ...

... until they chased it off.

On the little island in the Long Water, a Coot was trying to stop the male Mute Swan from coming ashore to his mate. It didn't succeed, but you have to admire its audacity.

It is a mystery what happened to the cygnets. Two were definitely seen, but just once, and nothing since. The female swan is still sitting on the nest. They may be trying for a second brood.

Much the same seems to have happened to the Grey Herons on the Serpentine island. After their nest collapsed, one young bird was still visible, but now this seems to have gone too. The adults were gathering twigs, apparently for a new nest.

There is a new brood of Egyptian Geese at the Diana fountain. Virginia told me that the nest was in a tree inside the enclosure.

The white-faced Blackbird near the Italian Garden seems to have left nesting a bit late. She was gathering dry grass for a nest lining.

Her mate looked on without offering to help. But he will feed her when she is sitting.

Another Blackbird was bathing in the basin of the fountain in the Rose Garden.

A Starling on the edge of the Serpentine was gathering a slimy collection of insects and grubs for its young.

The young Mistle Thrushes near the Dell have stopped calling to be fed. This one was poking efficiently in the grass and came up with a small grub.

The male Mistle Thrush of the pair near the Serpentine Gallery was singing from the top of a plane tree. I didn't see his two young.

A Wren sang loudly in a tree next to the Italian Garden.

Half a dozen House Martins were flying around the Kuwaiti Embassy. More should arrive soon.

I saw them flying into three of the holes in the plasterwork where they build their nests, which are invisible from the ground. It's always difficult to tell how many nests there are. Last year there were probably seven.

The Little Owl near the leaf yard was on his favourite branch, and for once the Magpies were leaving him alone.

A wading bird flew over the Italian Garden, which couldn't identify, and it was gone before I could train the camera on it. It was larger than a Sandpiper, but had the same pale bar along the middle of its wing, and a long straight bill. Its flight call was a single 'peep' about twice a second.

Des McKenzie saw a Spotted Flycatcher on the west side of the leaf yard.


  1. My admiration is divided today between the heroic Coot's standing up to no less than a breeding swan, and the Crows braving the perils of a Heron's spearing beak.

    Sad news about the young Herons from the fallen nest :-( I assume all died?

  2. Crows love teasing creatures larger than themselves, and I've seen them tweaking the tails of big dogs.

    I fear the young herons are dead. Not a sign of them for three days now. It's surprising, as the nest didn't collapse all at once.

  3. In regards to the wader, perhaps Dunlin as I know that has a pale white wing-bar and has a cheep call as such, unless it was bigger then Black-tailed Godwit?

    1. Seems a good guess. I got the impression that it was a bit bigger than a Dunlin, but this could have been wrong.