Sunday 17 February 2019

As I suspected, there are Grey Heron chicks in the lowest nest on the island. This is the first fairly clear sight of them, only a few day old.

And here is a close-up, or as close as I could get from the shore.

The young heron in the Dell took advantage of the sunshine and half spread its wings in that peculiar basking posture that herons have.

The Great Black-Backed Gull has returned to the Long Water, which it seems to like. The water is clear and shallow, and fish are easy to find.

A quite realistic kite, about the size of a Common Gull, was flying beside the Serpentine. The real gulls took not the slightest notice of it.

The dominant male Mute Swan on the Long Water was on the little island again. It does seem that the pair are preparing to nest. It ignored a heron on the other side of the island, but would have no trouble in dislodging it any time it wanted to.

A Great Crested Grebe finished a preening session by flapping to settle its wing feathers.

It was surprising not to see a Little Owl on such a beautiful day. The pair at the Albert Memorial are having trouble with intruders in their hole, first squirrels and now Stock Doves. A few years ago the doves won, and the owls had to nest in another tree.

The owls at the Queen's Temple really seem to have abandoned the hole in the horse chestnut tree. They have not returned to their old hole nearer the leaf yard, which is now in the possession of Rose-Ringed Parakeets.

Two Dunnocks ...

... appeared on the east side of the Long Water near the Italian Garden.

A Blackcap was singing somewhere near and I thought I had got it in the second photograph, which was backlit and very dark. But when lightened on the computer, stripes appeared at it was a second Dunnock.

A Wren came out on the rocks at the top of the waterfall in the Dell.

How to tell a male Starling from a female: the male has a faint blue tinge at the base of the bill ...

... and in the female it's pink.

Discreet dancers moved to eerily inaudible music in the Hyde Park bandstand.


  1. I think I heard one famous choreographer say that dancers ought not to practice to music, because music was secondary to movement. Well, he was a **modern dance** choreographer, so maybe that's why.

    I'd love to have a kite like that, and I don't even know how to fly one!

    I hope the Heron chicks have a chance, but I'm not too sanguine. Everything seems to be happening far too early this year.

    1. Reminded of Jules Feiffer's 'A Dance to Spring'.

      The people with the kite said they got it online. I searched for 'gull kite' and found several.

    2. I couldn't resist. I got one. Now to learn how to fly it, once it's here.

    3. Well done. Not hard to fly, as I remember, especially if you have someone to hold it up so that it catches the wind.

  2. I learned this fact about the blue or pink base of the bill as a child, re. budgerigars ( we'd given ours a male name; it turned out to be female). I know there is another bird (forgot which one) , other than starlings, where this is the case: is it quite common / are there other birds, do you know?

  3. Wrong pic for Blackcap? Looks like Dunnock again. Jim

    1. Yes, I think you're right. I couldn't see it because it was backlit -- the photograph is much lightened -- and there was certainly a Blackcap singing in the same place.