Saturday 30 March 2019

A pair of Great Crested Grebes on the Serpentine were displaying enthusiastically. It looked as if they were going to dance.

They did.

The grebe under the willow near the bridge was guarding his territory as usual.

A Mute Swan touched down on the lake, narrowly missing a Coot.

Another Coot found a couple of swans on what it considered was its own territory, and tried to shoo them away by pecking one of them. The swan took no notice.

There was a dead swan on the gravel strip on the Long Water, probably killed by a fox. A Grey Heron had scavenged a bit and was eating it.

The Egyptian Geese on the Serpentine still have six goslings, down from seven yesterday. They seem to be taking reasonable care of them, but with Egyptians you never know when they are going to rush off and attack another pair, leaving the young unprotected.

There is now another family on the Serpentine. They have only two goslings, probably having lost several already.

A pair of Gadwalls preened on the edge of the Serpentine.

A sunny interval showed off the brilliant colours of a Red Crested Pochard drake.

The females are also very elegant in a quiet way.

The young Grey Herons were still in their nest. They should be flying out any day now.

A Little Owl called from the middle of Buck Hill. It was the male of the pair whose hole is in the lime tree. He flies around quite widely, and is sometimes seen in a large isolated horse chestnut tree, or in an oak a short distance away.

There was a pair of Stock Doves on the lime tree, hanging around the Little Owls' hole. Stock Doves try to steal holes from Little Owls, but don't always succeed.

While I was feeding the male Nuthatch at the leaf yard, the female was up in the big oak, busily digging larvae out of the bark.

A Great Tit near the bridge came out to be fed.


  1. Have the black-headed gulls left? I was on the lake today and all I saw were Herring and Lesser Black Backed.
    Your supposition about the two gosling family is probably correct. Yesterday afternoon I saw a five-gosling family with the young being allowed to roam quite widely. Today I just saw the two-gosling family that you show here.

    1. Yes, the Black-Headed Gulls have left now, heading for far Finland and the not so far Pitsea landfill sie.

  2. ... I'm speechless by the courage, or maybe foolhardiness, of that Coot. Good thing that the Swan decided it would be a dishonour to thrash such a small enemy (that reminds me of our old motto in karate: to fight your superior is a suicide, to fight your equal is dangerous, to fight your inferior is dishonourable. So don't fight at all).

    Awwwww I'd like to hug and squish the dancing Grebes. They can't be any lovelier.

    1. Coots and swans have one idea in common: attack anything that moves. And there is no wise master to teach them the right path.

  3. There was a single Black-headed Gull sat on the water near the heron island late on Sunday afternoon; at which time, btw, that Egyptian Goose family was already down to 5 goslings.