Thursday 7 March 2019

A Grey Heron parent visited the nest as it tossed about in the wind, feeding the chicks by regurgitating fish from its crop. I do hope the chicks don't get blown out. Most of the time they huddle together safely low in the nest.

One of their two young from last year was fishing in the Dell under a New Zealand tree fern.

The water was too rough for the Coots at the east end of the Serpentine to continue building their nest, though the well made foundations were standing firm in the waves. A Coot at the island had a nest in a sheltered place between two baskets, much less trouble to build.

The nest on the post at Peter Pan had been washed away in yesterday's brisk south wind, the only wind direction that raises waves on the sheltered Long Water. The Coots were rebuilding it, pointlessly as this is a terrible site exposed to the hungry Herring Gulls.

A Moorhen settled down on the nest in the Dell. There are no eggs yet.

The Mute Swans that were starting a nest at the Lido have now moved to the side of the small boathouse, where they are protected from human interference by a railing but a fox could wade round it in a moment. The only safe place on the Serpentine for swans to nest safely is the island, but territorial disputes keep the maximum number of nests here to two or three.

The Egyptian Geese were on the horse ride again. It would be tempting to think that it reminded them of the sands of Giza, but actually these birds nest all around the edge of Africa from Egypt to the Cape, and choose places with grass and water.

One of the Bar-Headed--Greylag hybrid geese was calling, probably looking for the other one but this was nowhere in sight.

This Carrion Crow was poking around in a planter in the Italian Garden, probably looking for vine weevils. I gave it a peanut, which it carefully buried before resuming the search.

Both Nuthatches in the leaf yard came down to the railings for food. This is the smaller and shyer of the pair, I think the female.

A double bill of Long-Tailed Tits: this one was waiting for a place on the feeder in the Dell ...

... and this pair were gathering nesting materials near the Queen's Temple.

The Tawny owlets in St James's Park were on a swaying branch at the top of a plane tree.

Their mother was lower down in another tree, gazing imperturbably at the camera.

Her feathers were ruffled by the strong wind.

A Little Grebe on the lake did the famous 'start and wriggle' described by Jane Austen in Persuasion.


  1. Didn't she call the Little Grebe a Dab-chick? My memory might be deceiving me though.

    It's remarkable that the Tawny mother should regard humans with such calm indifference. Little Owls are much more skittish, aren't there?

    I hope we'll get to see a Long-Tailed Tit nest, hopefully. Coots are master architects, but Long-tailies are even on a higher level.

    Hope the young Herons kept safely low.

    1. Yes, she did: '...she [Louisa] starts and wriggles like a young dab-chick upon the water.'

      I think I know where the Long-Tailed Tits' nest is, and will have a look tomorrow, but it may be invisible as they sensibly choose the middle of a bush.