Sunday 11 March 2018

The invading Egyptian Geese have now definitely seized the Grey Herons' nest on the Serpentine island.

The male of the pair was under the nest, preening complacently.

There was no sign of activity on the upper nest. But a heron flew into the nest on the other side of the island. It stood there without a sitting heron greeting it, so evidently there are no eggs in the nest. This distant picture was taken from the far shore of the lake.

The Grey Heron colony here has always been a hit-and-miss affair, and often produces no young at all, unlike the larger colony in Regent's Park and the small but surprisingly successful one in Battersea Park.

There is also an Egyptian nesting in a crack in a tree north of the Round Pond. You can just see part of her back. She has been using this tree for several years, breeding twice a year. (Insert Duracell joke here.)

The oversized Greylag with a white forehead has been going around with another Greylag for some time, and evidently they are mates.

A pair of Mandarins could be seen on the posts at Peter Pan.

The Moorhen on the Mute Swans' little island stays firmly in place, and the swans don't seem to mind it. Swans dislike Coots, but see no threat from Moorhens.

Most of the Cormorants have left, having hoovered up all the available fish. Just one has stayed on the Serpentine, in its strange breeding plumage but with no mate in sight.

A Herring Gull on the Serpentine was exchanging fond calls with a mate who looked distinctly under age.

The Little Owl near the Henry Moore sculpture was at the front of her hole.

Robins are singing at each other all over the Rose Garden, and there are at least two couples.

The Blackbirds in the park have only started singing in a tentative way.

But I have one outside my window who wakes up at 3am and sings loudly for hours.

A single Long-Tailed Tit appeared in a tree beside the Long Water. It was probably one of a pair with its mate out of sight.

It's time to look out for them carrying strands of spider web, buts of moss and feathers to build their complex spherical nests.

The new turf on the Parade Ground is laid from big rolls with great speed and accuracy, in a way rather like rolling out a red carpet as a visiting grandee alights from a train. The tractor has to go backwards so that the driver can see that the edge of the turf meets the previous strip exactly.

Several Pied Wagtails were running around the place where the turf was being unrolled, ignoring the speeding tractor.


  1. What is that duracell battery doing in an Egyptian's nest, I wonder. Perhaps that is the secret of their unrelenting success.

    I sympathise about extemporaneous Blackbirds. We live on the ground floor directly looking on a handful of densely Blackbird-populated row of bushes. Yes, by 4 AM they begin their dawn chorus as if life depended on it. At least it is pretty.

    Birds here tend to follow and ignore tractors too.

    1. Maybe they thought the Duracell would give camouflage with its matching colours, but I think it might attract attention. Jim

    2. Very casual birds, only getting out of the way of the tractor \t the last moment. Are they Cattle Egrets?

    3. Yes they are. They can be seen here even in traffic roundabouts. Cheeky birds.

  2. The Egyptian goose nesting by the Round Pond has been on her eggs since Weds 7th is this pair I have followed for 8 years in June - everyday I visit them unless sick or away! It is totally worth it as I get the most amazing greeting - a real privelege to have such a bond with nature.
    While she is on the nest I go daily to feed her, with good goose pellets, when she comes out at dusk to have a shower, a brief chat with "Hubby" and a snack. She has not made an appearance for 2 days now which almost certainly mean the eggs are hatching and she is unable to leave the nest, leaving the goslings exposed to marauding crows etc... I am sure they will drop down and appear during early hours of tomorrow morning.
    I wish I could give him the snip!!! They are too prolific - having said that, they are now getting old and don't produce the 10-12 goslings 3 times a year they originally did.
    The chances of survival are next to none especially at this time of year.. Its a pity they can't just enjoy retirement as they must be at least 11 years old now!

    PS I am going to forward to Ralph the email addresses of the park managers for both Ken Gdns & Hyde Park. That way we can protest at the mess they are making of the parks and destroying our beautiful birds habitat and nesting sites..

  3. I forgot to add that I know the addresses as I am on the "Safer Parks Panel" working in conjunction with the police. Mostly mundane stuff relating to cyclists. I am trying to get my voice across regarding the wildlife... It is a long haul though but I shall persevere.

    1. Thanks for the information. I thought they'd been there rather a long time and wondered when the goslings were coming out. And also thanks for the email addresses, which I have received and will forward to Johanna.