Sunday 17 March 2019

It was a changeable day of wind and sunshine and hailstorms.

The Grey Heron chicks in the nest on the island were being fed by their parents. This video shows excerpts from two visits. The young birds are quite rough.

Two adult herons landed on the bridge uncomfortably close to each other.

One of the Great Crested Grebes under the willow next to the bridge saw its mate under the bridge arch and called it over -- they have a distinctive moaning call that means 'Come here.' They had a lttle greeting ceremony.

The nest on the island continues to grow, but is not yet being sat on.

The Coots' attempt to repair their partly washed-away nest was not getting far, as the waves were still quite choppy. But they have added an aluminium dish.

A Chiffchaff sang on one side of the Serpentine ...

... and a Wren on the other.

The Coal Tit in the leaf yard remains very shy, and you have to work hard to get it to take food from the railings as the other birds get there first or knock it away.

Things were not improved by the arrival of a small flock of Starlings. They are beautiful but violent, and dominate the smaller birds.

A Robin stared out from a rose bush in the Rose Garden.

Then off to St James's Park to try to find the Tawny Owls, which turned out unsuccessfully. But a Carrion Crow posed grandly on a weeping cherry tree in blossom.

There is a little flock of Bar-Headed and hybrid geese, two of which are visiting Hyde Park at the moment. The one in the middle is a pure Bar-Head. Her offspring from mating with a Greylag are at the front and back. I think the other two, which look almost exactly like normal Bar-Headed Geese, are three quarters Bar-Headed and a quarter Greylag.

This is one of the first-generation hybrids.

I had seen a Little Grebe in Kensington Gardens, but it was behind twigs on the far side of the Long Water and impossible to photograph. The ones in St James's Park are easier.

A Moorhen was given the inevitable bit of bread by a visitor, and trotted off to eat it in the shelter of a bush, away from the swooping gulls.


  1. Well I hadn't cottoned on that there were three Heron chicks. It's news to me that there are any birds of that size where that many young requiring adult feeding can all survive to be so large. Jim

    1. The youngest one took a while to put its head up and be seen. But now there they all are, huge and hungry, and they haven't yet started clambering about branches in the way they do when they're getting ready to leave.

  2. That is a Heron Mexican Stand-off if there ever was one.

    An aluminium dish. Whatever will they come up with now?

    1. The oddest thing I've ever seen a Coot trying to add to the nest was a shiny silver helium balloon which had lost gas and come down until its string hit the water, but was still just floating in the air a short way above the surface. I have also seen Coots adding a football to a nest.