Wednesday, 11 April 2018

The Great Crested Grebes' nest at the island now seems to be safe from attempts at reclaiming it by the Coots who built it. But it's also in an area of heavy traffic. The grebes look on apprehensively as a Canada Goose comes dangerously close ...

... and one of them loses its nerve and dives ...

... but the other stays on the nest and shouts defiance.

There's no shortage of Coot nests. The one at the Lido restaurant is now an imposng structure, comfortably lined with dead leaves. The Mute Swan feathers probably blew there by accident and are not a deliberate decoration, but a piece of red plastic was certainly brought by the Coots.

The posts and chains next to the bridge are meant to stop boats from passing, and there is a chain just under the water as well as the one you can see. This provides a base for the Coot's nest, and twigs can be poked through the links to anchor it.

The nest on top of the weir at the outflow of the Serpentine is not going well, as twigs get swept away by the current. It would be better if the Coots never managed to complete it, because the chicks get swept away too, and seem unable to climb back up the sloping plank.

A Coot doggedly continued building in an absolutely hopeless place on the edge of the Serpentine.

One of the Coots nesting on the buoys at the Lido was alarmed when a Herring Gull landed almost on top of it.

There's also a nest at Peter Pan, where the other Coots were enjoying a fight.

The Mute Swan nesting beside the Lido restaurant terrace was sitting down. It looks as if she has started incubating her eggs. In the unlikely event of her succeeding in this dangerous place, they would hatch in 35 days.

The Egyptian Geese at the Henry Moore sculpture are down to two goslings.

A Bar-Headed Goose went past the Serpentine island. There was no sign of the Greylag that seemed to be the mate of the Bar-Headed Goose that was here a few weeks ago. Maybe it is a different one. They fly in and out from St James's Park.

A Cormorant perched on an uncomfortably thin branch at the edge of the Long Water.

A Grey Heron found a new vantage point, the roof of the Lido restaurant. This is a good place from which to launch a raid on an empty table with leftovers on it.

A female Feral Pigeon was being courted by two males. She held a twig. Maybe this means 'You can only have me if you help me build a nest.'

A Blackbird sang among the sprouting leaves of a horse chestnut tree near the leaf yard.

A Blue Tit sang in a yew near the bridge.

I also got a very brief glimpse of an ordinary-looking warbler which I couldn't identify. Nick Senior's report on the London Bird Club Wiki mentions a Lesser Whitethroat, and it's likely that this was one as well. He comes into the park very early and sees all kinds of birds that I miss.


  1. Oh wow, I have never seen a Lesser Whitethroat. That was a very good sighting.

    I love warblers, be they ever so different to tell apart from each other.

    Great photo shoot of assorted Coot nests today. There is always some detail of architectural ingenuity to admire in nearly all of them.

    A Canada goose must be quite a fearsome sight from the point of view of a Grebe. The bird that stayed behind to defenf its nest was truly brave. Was that the male or the female?

    Blackbirds's songs do the soul a world of good.

  2. *difficult, not different. Freudian slip, I guess.

  3. The London Bird Club Wiki entry you refer to only mentions a Whitethroat. Lesser Whitethroats' masked look is very distinctive when you see them. Jim