Friday 22 March 2019

A Jackdaw was peacefully eating a peanut on a branch ...

... when it was attacked by a Magpie. With great presence of mind, the Jackdaw picked up its peanut before fleeing.

Two Robins in the Rose Garden perched on the same bush without trying to kill each other, so they must be mates, together in the brief truce that comes in the breeding season.

There was also a Dunnock.

The male Nuthatch in the leaf yard was coming down to the hands of people it trusted, in this case Dave.

A Blackbird unerringly found sultanas I threw down for it. They are invisible in the grass, and evidently the bird is finding them by smell.

The female Little Owl near the Henry Moore sculpture was back in her usual place at the front of the nest hole.

The female Peregrine was on the barracks tower.

The Grey Herons' nest on the island is tilting at a greater angle each day, not helped by the young birds' preference for standing together on one side.

I don't think it will collapse. There was a nest collapse on the island a couple of years ago, but this was caused by the nest being built up to such a huge size that it broke the branch it was resting on.

Coots are fascinated by bright coloured objects. Every year several pairs build nests against the orange plastic buoys in the line of white buoys that marks off the Lido swimming area. This pair were taking time off building to preen and eat each other's parasites.

The huge Coot nest at the east end of the Serpentine has now risen above water level, but the Coots were taking a rest from building and I didn't photograph it. Instead, here is a Coot at the bridge vainly pursuing its long unsuccessful attempt to attach twigs to the submerged chain on the post. Not all Coots are good at nest making.

The Great Crested Grebes' nest in the reed bed on the Long Water now has some plastic bottles next to it, blow in by the wind. A Moorhen probed the detritus for insects.

A Little Grebe could be seen distantly from the Italian Garden.

The dominant male Mute Swan on the Long Water has resumed possession of the little island, driving away the pair of Canada Geese which had earlier laid an egg here. The egg has disappeared.

The solitary Gadwall drake that has been hanging around the dead willow for several weeks has now been joined by a female.


  1. Great update as usual. Interesting situation with the peregrines. Great to get updates on the owls. What’s happening with the little owl on the other side of the Serpentine of the Moore stature bird.

    1. There are two pairs of owls on the other side (and maybe a third, of which I know almost nothing). The female of the pair near the Albert Memorial is seen in her hole but only occasionally. The pair near the leaf yard, which had moved to a tree near the Queen's Temple, seem to have moved again, and I haven't found them again yet. Probably caused by harassment by Magpies.

  2. How sad, to be born a Coot, and to be bad at building. It's like being born an Eagle and being short-sighted.

    That is an amazing picture of the Jackdaw. The elegant colouring of its neck is displayed to perfection. Over here they routinely win the war for nesting sites against kestrels, only to lose it to pigeons. Pigeons are invincible.

    The loveliest little murderers, Robins are.

    1. The Stock Doves here are very adept at stealing holes from other birds. One year they evicted the Little Owls near the Albert Memorial. Feral Pigeons nest in abandoned buildings and do not seem to be a threat.

  3. Do you mean that the Blackbird finds every one? That's remarkable. I was wondering if it helps that they can see in ultraviolet.

    Feral Pigeons seem to nest a lot in occupied buildings and structures too! Jim

    1. I don't know whether a Blackbird finds every one, but this one, temporarily not bothered by people and dogs passing by, seemed to be doing a pretty good job. I had no choice but to throw the sultanas into a grassy patch, since that was where the bird was. I don't think it could have seen any of them, and also I doubt whether these little black things reflect much ultraviolet.