Monday, 30 April 2018

The Rose-Ringed Parakeets have discovered how to remove the lid of the bird feeder in the Rose Garden ...

... so they can dive right in. No wonder it runs out in a day.

It was a vile cold wet day, and no one was feeding the parakeets in the usual place near the leaf yard. They waited hopefully in a tree with more green birds than green leaves.

A lot of Swifts visisted the Serpentine today. Since they never land except to nest, they drink by catching raindrops. If it isn't raining, they skim the surface of the water and scoop up a beakful.

A Pied Wagtail paused for a moment on a wet kerbstone at the edge of the lake.

There was a Grey Wagtail in the grass a short way off.

No one was sitting outside the Dell restaurant, so the local Grey Heron could preen undisturbed on the balcony.

The Great Crested Grebes on the island were together at their nest. There is a chick on the left of them, which I hadn't seen through the viewfinder when taking this photograph. It was in exactly the same position in all the pictures. I do hope it was just resting.

The wind became quite strong around midday, ruffling the feathers of the solitary Mandarin drake as he looked for food on the edge of the Serpentine.

The floating baskets around the island have come adrift, allowing a Mute Swan to get in and explore new territory.

The Greylag Goose nesting on the basket might soon be making an unexpected voyage.

A Canada Goose charged down the Serpentine, not disturbing the Swifts whizzing around it as they are infinitely more agile.

Another swan stood on a Coots' nest to preen. It shows how strong these nests are built.

This is a top view of the Coots' nest at the outflow of the Serpentine, unfortunately sited on the edge of the weir so that the chicks are quickly swept away.


  1. I am racking my brains trying to remember where have I seen a picture of a tree with birds for leaves before. I almost wish to think it was a surrealist painting.

    I too hope the Grebe chick is resting. It'd be too cruel otherwise. We are so looking forward to seeing them.

    How can those Coots not realize that no chick has ever survived in that nest?

    1. I have a nasty feeling that, at best, only one chick is going to survive. It's too early in the year and, in the peculiar ecology of the lake, there aren't enough small fish the right size for feeding them. One chick survived from a spring nest on the island last year -- it was the one that was thrown out early because its parents bred again at the more suitable time of midsummer.

      It's possible that the unwise Coots are a different pair each year. All Coots look more or less alike.

  2. What a wonderful shot of the parakeet tree. I wonder why they chose a rare leafless one? I was there a little later when a man came along with a carrier bag for a spot of industrial scale feeding and they descended on him like a scene from the Hitchcock film. Some ducking and diving was needed and it didn’t look entirely painless.

    1. Parakeets seem to like perching on bare twigs. They can often be seen on dead branches sticking out of the tops of trees. I suppose it gives them a better view.

      The parakeet feeders are now out of control. On sunny weekend days there may be over 50 people there.