Monday 25 March 2019

Two of the young Grey Herons on the island had climbed out of their nest and were in the next tree. They are probably able to fly by now, and will soon be shocked to discover that when they leave the nest they are expected to feed themselves.

The two young birds in this nest last year both survived the transition, and this is one of them. Work on the Dell restaurant is almost complete, and the heron is back in its usual place on the roof, looking down at the terrace for a chance to grab some food.

The Great Crested Grebes at the west end of the island have added a few strands of algae and a mouldering plastic container to their attempt at a nest.

Two Coots fought on the Serpentine.

This Moorhen is usually to be seen in the reed bed to the east of the Lido. It seems that a pair is nesting in the reeds.

A pair of Mute Swans mirrored each other's movements in their courting dance. Unfortunately the dominant male swan at the west end of the Serpentine hates displays of affection in his territory, and he charged in to break it up.

This pair of Egyptian Geese on the Long Water are very bad parents, and as far as I know have never managed to rear a single surviving gosling. They had five this morning but the gulls had already eaten two when I arrived. You can see how their mother lets them wander around in the open, while the father stands on a post and does nothing, and a row of hungry gulls waits a few yards away.

This is probably the same gang of Red-Crested Pochards -- four drakes and a female -- that were here for a long time last year, usually near the Bluebird Boats platform.

The female Little Owl near the Henry Moore sculpture came out of her hole.

A Carrion Crow inspected a sheaf of leaf buds.

A Blue Tit visited the lamp post behind the Lido that is used as a nest. I don't think they've started nesting properly yet, as I haven't seen one carrying nesting material.

Another Blue Tit ...

... and a Coal Tit came out of the bushes near the bridge to be fed.

A Wren crept around in a flower bed at the top of the Dell ...

... and a Robin perched on a twig at the bottom of the slope.


  1. That video of the Egyptian goslings is very sad. One can almost smell the approach of disaster.

    The dominant Swan is a real bully. One could be tempted to think that it is envious and jealous.

    Glad (sort of, at least) to see Coots are in fine fighting form. That Coots will fight must be one of the universal constants.

    1. It's the size of swans that makes their attacks seem so monstrous. If we see a Blue Tit doing the same thing, we just laugh.

  2. Can you account for this pair of Egyptian Geese’s failure to parent adequately? In humans I think we might wonder about how they were parented . We can hardly say they are too young for the job now. Strange. Clearly not all Egyptian geese are similarly afflicted.

    1. They are both more aggressive than average, and easily distracted by the sight of another Egyptian Goose, which causes them both to rush off to attack it, leaving the goslings unprotected. Only a few seconds' absence gives the gulls a chance.