Saturday 23 March 2019

The leaves are coming out on most of the trees. This horse chestnut near Queen's Gate also has buds of its big white 'candle' blossoms.

The new leaves made a setting for a Jay ...

... and a Coal Tit, both near the bridge.

Wood Pigeons are very fond of leaf and flower buds. But they are less destructive of trees than Rose-Ringed Parakeets, which can descend in a flock and completely wreck one in a few minutes.

There were two sightings of Great Spotted Woodpeckers on the east side of the Long Water, or maybe of the same one twice, as both pictures show a male.

The Little Owl near the Henry Moore sculpture came out briefly, but she was not in a good mood and went back into her hole before I could get a better picture.

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

The young Grey Herons in the nest on the island have started climbing around on the branches in a dangerous-looking way. You never know when they are capable of flying until one comes down from the nest and manages to return, but probably they haven't quite reached that stage yet.

A Great Crested Grebe rested elegantly on the Long Water near the willow tree where it is reserving a nest site.

Not all the grebes on the lake understand that a reed bed is a good place to nest, as materials are easy to find and the result is stable. This was filmed from across the Long Water with the zoom on the Coolpix P900 cranked up to the full 83x, equivalent to a 2000mm lens.

A Mute Swan enjoyed a vigorous wash next to one of the Serpentine boat houses.

This Bar-Headed--Greylag hybrid goose from St James's Park has been spoilt rotten with unhealthy white bread, but it will consent to eat a few sunflower seeds.

Some Red-Crested Pochards have arrived on the lake. A pair passed a Gadwall going the other way.

Both species visit the lake apparently at random, though when there's a garden party at Buckingham Palace the Gadwalls in the palace gardens usually move to the Serpentine for a few days.

There was a Little Japanese Umbrella mushroom near the Serpentine Gallery. This frail species only appears above ground for a day.

Tom was at Rainham Marshes, where he got distant pictures of a Black Redstart ...

... and an early returning Wheatear ...

... and a good shot of a Fieldfare foraging in the grass.

The Fieldfares here in the park left some time ago.


  1. What an elegant headdress. If there ever was a Bird Vogue, it should make the cover.

    I am a bit alarmed by the notion of a Swan attempting to dive.

    That hybrid goose has such a sweet face, and what looks like a peaceful disposition (unless there are pigeons to snap at nearby).

    1. The swans don't actually dive, they just tip themselves upside down with their big feet waving foolishly in the air. Greylag and Canada Geese can dive and swim under water for a short distance.