Tuesday 5 March 2019

A Great Spotted Woodpecker probed a dead branch for insects. The tree was on the edge of the Cockpit, a hollow in a hill at the northeast corner of the bridge where clay was dug out to make the bridge abutments.

The sitting Mistle Thrush looked out of her nest in the Dell.

A Rose-Ringed Parakeet examined a possible nest hole in a horse chestnut tree.

The three Grey Heron chicks, left alone for a few minutes in their nest on the island, passed the time preening.

They are beginning to take on a more adult appearance ...

... but they have a long way to go before they catch up with last year's brood. This picture by David Element shows one of the two landing in Kensington Gardens.

The pigeon-killing Lesser Black-Backed Gull was in his usual place near the Dell restaurant, with his mate nearby. A close-up shows the ring of black dots on the pupil of his eye that makes him recognisable.

A Little Grebe could just be seen fishing between the twigs of the dead willow near the Italian Garden.

The fallen willow at the bridge is still being claimed as a nest site by the pair of Great Crested Grebes.

All the pairs have had a go at nest building now, but none of them have kept it up, and have simply let the nests fall to pieces. This is quite usual behaviour in early spring -- it takes them a while to get serious about nesting.

A male Mute Swan staked his claim for a nest site at the terrace of the Lido restaurant.

This is a hopeless place and has never succeeded, but there are so few nest sites available for the swans that they have to keep trying.

A male Mandarin turned up at Peter Pan. No sign of a female.

This female duck is a hybrid between a Pochard (Aythya ferina) and a Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula). She is the same shape and size as a Pochard, but has a redder version of the plumage of a Tufted Duck (which appears in this clip) and an orange-brown eye intermediate in colour between the two species.

I stopped to watch Kamal executing a neat bit of skateboard slalom. Not a cone in this very long line was touched.

He got an appreciative chirp (at 13 seconds in the video) from a Pied Wagtail hunting bugs on the grass nearby.

Then off to St James's Park to see the Tawny Owl family.

As usual, they were much obscured by twigs and seed balls, but the branches were swaying in the wind so it was a matter of taking a lot of pictures and choosing the clearest.


  1. No wonder the Pied Wagtail was impressed. I am too! That sort of proficiency takes years to master.

    My, but haven't the little Herons grown! It was only yesterday that they looked like tiny time-travelling dinoaurs .

    Nulla dies sine Strige!

    Apropos of nothing, I found this piece of very old news in The Telegraph and can't stop laughing: "British parrot missing for four years returns speaking Spanish"

    1. It's amazing how fast the heron chicks are growing, and all on a diet of regurgitated fish and rat. Sill no sign of life in the other nests, but there's lots of time.

      There were 40 cones in that line. I watched Kamal do several passes, and he never knocked one of them over.

      Thanks for the silly parrot story.(By the way, it's here.)