Sunday 4 March 2018

Three male and two female Mandarins were feeling a bit skittish as the ice on the Long Water melted. A Grey Heron watched impassively.

The pair of Mute Swans on the Long Water are still messing around with a nest in the reeds at the Italian Garden while their proper nest site on the little island remains iced in.

A female Shoveller preened with her enormous bill, not a very suitable tool for the job.

I wonder how Toucans manage to preen.

A female Gadwall searched for something to eat in a crack in the concrete edge of the Serpentine.

Since the concrete was laid around 1970, the unstable London clay soil has subsided several inches in some places, cracking the edge. In a few years it will be necessary to raise the bank opposite the island to avoid flooding.

There were three shades of Mallard at the Vista ...

... and a neat fleet of Tufted Ducks next to the bridge.

Of all the odd things that people give the waterfowl on the lake, oatmeal is one of the healthier ones.

Both Grey Herons were on the lower nest on the island.

During the recent cold spell I couldn't see the sitting bird on this nest, and it's possible that their attempt failed and now they are starting again.

A Long-Tailed Tit perched on a red-leafed bush in the Dell.

There was a Coal Tit on the branch above. Both are attracted by the feeders here.

A Wren sang on a bush in the Rose Garden.

A Blackbird searched for insects in the rotten wood of a fallen tree beside the Long Water.

The resident Mistle Thrushes near the Serpentine Gallery were out on the grass ...

... accompanied by the flock of Redwings, which had moved out of Hyde Park to a less busy area.

The Little Owl at the Albert Memorial stared down from her hole ...

... and the owl near the Henry Moore sculpture was on the balcony in front of hers.


  1. Lovely shots as ever + good to have milder temperatures again. Certainly plenty of Redwing around at the moment. For reference the red leaved shrub is Photinia "Red Robin". Looks good in the spring with the new red foliage but a pretty boring evergreen the rest of the year.

    1. Thanks for the information. There was another Long-Tailed Tit in another Red Robin bush today. Maybe this plant attracts a lot of insects.

  2. I happen to follow a Toucan youtube channel (yes, really): Thus, a toucan preening.

    I am ashamed to to report that the Swans and I appear to have enjoyed the same sort of breakfast today: soggy oatmeal.

    1. Thanks for that -- amazing. One of the comments said, 'It's like trying to type with really long acryclic fingernails.'