Monday 4 March 2019

The Mistle Thrush nest in the Dell is now occupied. I could only see the tail of the female bird sticking out of the nest. This pair have bred near here every year for some time.

There was a Long-Tailed Tit on the bush below.

A Blue Tit came out to be fed on the east side of the Long Water.

A Great Spotted Woodpecker appeared on a nearby tree ...

... and also a single Goldfinch, separated from his flock but singing so busily that I thought there were several of them.

There were seven Pied Wagtails on the grass beside the Serpentine, though I only managed to get five of them into a shot. This is the area where the Olympic grandstand stood in 2012 and it has been returfed with top quality grass that attracts a superior class of insects, which is why the wagtails like it.

A sunny spell brings people on to the outside tables of the park restaurants, attracting Starlings looking for scraps. It also encourages the Starlings to sing.

It was windy, and a Common Gull rode the choppy waves on the Serpentine. They will be flying north in a few days. They arrive after the more numerous Black-Headed Gulls, and leave before them.

The pigeon-killing Lesser Black-Backed Gull and his mate were together in their usual place offshore from the Dell restaurant. The rebuilding of the restaurant is nearing completion. I think they nest on the roof, and soon they should be able to do so.

The Grey Heron chicks were visible in the nest, but huddled down against the wind. So here is a dramatic picture taken earlier by Clive Murgatroyd showing one of the parents landing in the nest.

David Element sent me a fine shot of a Little Egret in Wandle Park. As these birds become commoner, we should soon have them as regular visitors to the Long Water.

A flock of Egyptian Geese came down to the horse ride at the edge of the Serpentine to drink from the muddy puddles they unaccountably like.

The hopeless pair of Egyptians were back on the Mute Swans' island. I wondered where the Canada Goose egg that was there yesterday had got to, but the photograph shows the male standing on it.

Six Red-Crested Pochards have flown in, and were at the island. Only one of them is female. Now naturalised in Britain, they have the severely skewed sex ration of wild ducks, caused by females getting predated on the nest.

Of the ducks in the park, only the Gadwalls have approximately equal numbers of males and females, because the females have safe nest boxes in Buckingham Palace Gardens.

A visit to St James's Park to see the Tawny Owl family. David Element had got there before me, and took this good picture of an adult, I think their mother, with the two owlets.

By the time I got there the group had broken up and it was starting to rain hard. One of the owlets was in good view on a branch but looking miserable.


  1. I bet the owlet would rather be back in its hole. It certainly looks miserable, poor thing.

    I nearly melted seeing the Long-Tailed Tit picture. How can it be so adorable?

    Perhaps the Egyptians may recall dimly the turbid water of the Nile, if such a thing as genetic memory existed.

    1. Interesting idea about the Egyptians. But there is definitely something about mud and muddy water that appeals to many birds. Their tastes are not ours.