Thursday 21 March 2019

Two Great Spotted Woodpeckers appeared at opposite ends of Buck Hill. One was female and the other male, but they were probably too far apart to be mates.

The Little Owl near the Henry Moore sculpture came out on a branch of her lime tree. She wasn't doing much, but it was good to see her.

A Carrion Crow teased a bit of bark out into strands to make a nest lining.

Another dunked a peanut in the marble fountain to make it more palatable.

All the male Blackbirds in the park have started singing now. This one in the Rose Garden was accompanied by a Wren hidden in the bushes, its song astonishingly loud for such a small bird.

A Long-Tailed Tit preened on a twig in the Dell.

The Coal Tit at the bridge took five pine nuts, which it must have cached in cracks in tree bark ...

... then followed me along the path to demand more.

The young Grey Herons were quiet for once. Their father stood on a branch behind the nest to avoid being bothered by them.

The Great Crested Grebes at the west end of the island were having another go at making a nest against the wire basket. It is almost certain to collapse soon.

The male grebe under the willow near the bridge was guarding his intended nesting place. Territorial calls from the other side of the bridge showed that another pair had designs on this good safe spot.

A Mute Swan made a nest at the Lido. They obsessively tear down all the vegetation they can reach, even when it destroys the cover around their nest.

The Bar-Headed--Greylag hybrid goose snatched a peanut that I had accidentally dropped and tried to swallow it, though it was unsuccessful and had to spit it out eventually. During its efforts it passed the pigeon-killing Lesser Black-Backed Gull and his mate.

The three other hybrids seen yesterday seem to have gone back to St James's Park, but the long-staying one was on the Round Pond.

Gadwalls crossed the Long Water.

This is only my second sighting of an uncommon species in the park, the Rubber Duck, Anas elastica.


  1. I Lol'ed (this expression will date me, surely). Actually, I guffawed on seeing the fine exemplar of Anas elastica after the picture of the Gadwalls.

    I don't think I have ever seen a Long-Tailed Tit preening. Great picture!

    Maybe the Grebes ought to engage the services of a Coot to build a nest for them. If they can read wine lists, surely they can read architectural blueprints.

    1. That's exactly what happened here last year. The grebes waited for a pair of Coots to build a nest against the basket, and then stole it. They had to be vigilant for some time because the Coot kept coming back. Although a grebe can beat a Coot easily, Coots are exceptionally persistent, as we know.

  2. Is say the woodpeckers are a pair as at this time of the year they travel the whole of their territory daily and they have large territories. They will be hollowing out nests now too.