Wednesday, 17 May 2017

There is a new family of Canada Geese with five goslings on the Serpentine. They were near the island.

They came over to the shore to join the pair with a single gosling. Canadas often share childcare with other families.

Greylags are less likely to do this, but the two families on the north side of the lake were harmoniously side by side, with the gander of one of them keeping a lookout for dogs.

The Mute Swan on the Long Water took her cygnets to eat the waterside plants.

The hopeless Egyptian Geese who have never raised a gosling in twelve years were making a tremendous racket in the Italian Garden, and it looks as if they are planning to produce another doomed brood.

There were two Gadwalls, both drakes, in the long grass under the Henry Moore sculpture. You hardly ever seem them ashore here, and they have never nested in the park as far as I know.

However, the Queen has graciously provided them with nest boxes in the garden of Buckingham Palace.

A Coot dragged a mouldy bit of canvas webbing to a pointless nest on the shore of the Serpentine.

A pair of Great Crested Grebes were making an equally futile attempt at building a nest on the collapsed fence of one of the rafts at the east end of the Serpentine.

This pair seem to be obsessed with nesting here, but never succeed in making a nest stick to the fence. They could build an excellent nest in the nearby reed bed if they wanted, especially if they had the sense to go inside the netting, which only reaches down to water level so that chicks could easily dive under it. But this hasn't occurred to them.

The successful nest on the Long Water is still going well, though I haven't been able to see how many eggs are in it. One of the grebes is in a defensive posture, because another pair were going by.

A Grey Wagtail was collecting insects from a hunting station on a post near the bridge. It flew away down the Serpentine towards the Diana fountain. There may be a nest under the landing stage here.

A Pied Wagtail at the Lido was feeding itself only.

There is another Blue Tit nest in a gas lamp post, the fourth I've seen this year. This is the very tall lamp post in the middle of the Rose Garden.

And it's puzzling. The lamp post has been lengthened by welding a long tube to the top of the cast iron lamp standard. As you can see, this tube is not very wide, and has a gas pipe running down the middle. The bird can't be constantly climbing up and down the tube to use the more spacious inside of the column below. So it must have  jammed a nest into the top few inches of the tube and somehow managed to sit on it.

A Song Thrush sang from a bush near Peter Pan.

The Little Owl at the leaf yard was near the tip of his favourite branch, ignoring the drizzle.

This solitary rabbit is often seen near the Henry Moore statue.

A month ago I saw two adult rabbits here, but that's all. Normally by this time of year there are lots of baby rabbits. It seems that the combined effect of foxes and myxomatosis has reduced the rabbit population to two individuals of the same sex. It would be good to be proved wrong.


  1. Those Blue Tits are natural-born engineers, I think. If there is any way to profit, however outlandish, a bird can be depended to find it.

    How I envy British people their Queen.

    1. I'm sure Felipe would build some duck houses if you asked him nicely.

  2. The missus would doubtlessly not allow it, sadly. She is no friend to animals.

  3. Thank you for this post -- I saw the tits nesting in the lamp the other day and wasn't sure of the exact species (I only glanced it for a few seconds and had to move on).

    1. There are several occupied lamp posts, and it's always Blue Tits. Great Tits can't get in.