Saturday 3 March 2018

The thaw is well under way. A Gadwall drank from a puddle on the ice on the Long Water ...

... and a Moorhen left big footprints in the slushy surface.

The odd trio of the Red-Crested Pochard and two Mallards were on a pond in the Italian Garden. Although there was still some ice they could feed here because the fountain has kept the centre of the pond clear.

The dominant pair of Mute Swans on the Long Water usually play at nest building in unsuitable places before they settle down on the little artificial island that was made for them.

A Great Crested Grebe was in a threatening posture under a tree near the bridge. The threat was directed at a Coot, which wasn't taking much notice.

Then the pair displayed in front of the Coot. It was exactly where the grebes were hoping to build a nest. They could drive the Coot out but, if it wanted to nest in that place, it would return again and again and win by sheer persistence.

The shore of the Serpentine is clear of snow, and the Feral Pigeons were back at the Triangle car park, hoping to get bread from the people who come here to feed the ducks. So was the second pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull, who looked hungrily at them but didn't see a chance when I was there.

He is only occasionally successful in his hunt, unlike the first pigeon-eater, who takes at least one victim a day.

A Black-Headed Gull shook a piece of bread, trying to swallow it.

The Robin on the tree with the feeder in the Rose Garden came to my hand for the first time today. I have been trying to make friends with this shy bird for months.

Another two Robins have paired up near the bridge. This may not look much like a pair, but if two Robins can get this close without trying to murder each other, it's love.

A pair of Carrion Crows near the Albert Memorial were also displaying affection with quiet hoarse calls.

A Nuthatch in the leaf yard stared impatiently, wanting to be fed.

The familiar Blackbird in the Dell came out to get some sultanas.

The melting of the snow has brought Song Thrushes and Redwings back to look for worms in the grass between the Dell and the Rose Garden.

A passing Long-Tailed Tit paused at the feeder in the Dell.

The Little Owl near the Henry Moore sculpture came out on the lime tree.

The other owls, who are less hardy, remained in their holes.


  1. Congratulations on your new friend! Let's hope th new Robin won't be a stranger from now on.

    I hope the Coot won't have designs on the Grebes' nest. I think they win because they have the Fidel Castro approach to conducting business: boring the enemy to tears.

    1. In fact it's not such a bad thing to keep the grebes from nesting right now. Because of the cycle of fish breeding, there's little chance that any young from a nest now would survive.

  2. The cold must have got to you a bit Ralph- your Mallard on the ice is in fact a female Gadwall! Lovely photos as ever.

    1. Dearie me, how careless, especially with her in such an obvious position. Thank you. Corrected.