Tuesday 26 February 2019

I though there were only two Grey Heron chicks in this nest, but a third one has appeared. They are a boisterous bunch.

You'd think their parents would think they had enough chicks already.

This splendid picture was taken by Virginia in the late afternoon when the sun wasn't directly behind them.

I saw the hopeless Egyptian pair on the little island in the Long Water that was made for the Mute Swans to nest on, and took a routine photograph. When I looked at it later, it showed one gosling. So they did nest after all.

Meanwhile, Marie Gill had told me about the gosling. I went back but couldn't find it, However, Ahmet Amerikali did, and got a good photograph.

Sadly, the little Egyptian is most unlikely to survive. This is the pair that have never managed to raise a single chick in 15 years of breeding.

There is one pair of Shovellers still on the Long Water.

The Great Crested Grebes at the west end of the island are still trying to build a nest against the floating basket. Somehow they had managed to stick a large branch through the mesh, and were draping weed over it in a vague but hopeful way.

A Coot in the Italian Garden eyed a pair of Moorhens enviously. Thanks to their climbing ability they can nest in the planters, but Coots find it hard to get in and out.

It went off and tried to make a nest on the outflow pipe of one of the fountains. Even a Coot couldn't succeed here.

A Black-Headed Gull in full breeding plumage was throwing its weight around beside the Serpentine.

The Little Owl near the Henry Moore sculpture was out on a branch. I tried not to disturb her, but she really doesn't like cameras and flew away.

After the poor result of our night-time search for Tawny Owls a few days ago, which yielded just one pair in an inaccessible place, we're envious of the people at St James's Park who have a Tawny family, the first in 12 years. It was discovered when the gardeners found an owlet sitting on a tractor. The owlet was successfully returned to its mother.

The female Peregrine on the Household Cavalry barracks tower had seen her mate fly past and became restless, looking around and then flying away.

There are still some Redwings on the Parade Ground.

But it was a Blackbird that got the biggest worm here.

A Dunnock preened on a holly tree near the bridge.

A Jackdaw shelled a peanut on a branch.

A Jay waited to be given one.


  1. I think the moment when the Little Owl got a gander of the camera can almost be pinpointed. She was a remarkably long time on camera, though, so you were quite successful in not disturbing the bird.

    Oooh look at those pretty little claws on the baby Tawny! Lethal and Lovely.

    There is something vaguely comical in a small gull strutting around when it means business. What it lacks in size it makes up for in enthusiasm.

    I wouldn't put it past those Coots to build a nest in an impossible place.

    Poor, poor little gosling. So tiny and fluffy. Couldn't it be given to any other Egyptian to foster?

  2. The little Egyptian gosling could only be added to another brood, and sadly there isn't another brood. A few years ago this did happen, by accident, and the gosling was accepted and survived. We always knew which one it was, because it was blond like its negligent mother. That is the only gosling from these parents to have got through.