Sunday 14 April 2019

A Chiffchaff was unusually clearly visible in a holly tree near the bridge. It was presumably female, as it didn't sing.

A Blackcap showed well beside the Long Water.

A Wren ran up a tree almost as fast as a Treecreeper.

A Chaffinch perched on a branch above the feeder in the Rose Garden, occasionally flying down to collect spilt seeds.

A Grey Wagtail looked for insects beside the terrace of the Lido restaurant. Restaurant terraces have spilt food which attracts insects, so you often see wagtails here.

This Wood Pigeon has been hanging around the pedalos at Bluebird Boats for several days. It's not clear what it likes about them.

The female Little Owl near the Henry Moore sculpture was in front of her hole.

The female Little Owl near the Albert Memorial was in the tree to the west of the pair's new nest tree.

Later she moved back to the nest tree. The nest is on the back of this part of the branch, invisible from the ground.

A pair of Magpies building a nest in a small tree nearby were not at all pleased by the arrival of a Carrion Crow. It took no notice of their angry calls.

Worries about the third young Heron proved to be groundless. All three were visible on the island, one temporarily back in the nest ...

... one looking for fish ...

... and one hoping to find a rat in the nettles.

Clearly their hunting instincts are sound, but they are probably not finding much yet.

The high nest on the south side of the island, visible only from the far side of the lake, had a heron in it again. However, I don't think that herons plan to nest here. It looks like an old Magpie nest, just being used as a comfortable place to stand.

A Little Grebe cruised past Peter Pan.

The Coot at the Dell restaurant had added a white moist wipe packet to the nest, and a Mute Swan feather in addition to those that had washed up at the edge. Evidently, like Gertrude Jekyll, it likes an all-white colour scheme, unlike the gaudy tastes of other Coots.

An Egyptian Goose beside the Serpentine rested with three goslings. They have lost one since yesterday. There are a lot of Herring Gulls on the lake, and it's far from sure that any goslings will survive from the present broods.

A female Gadwall stared from a post at the Vista.

Tom was at Rainham Marshes, and got a fine picture of one of the local Barn Owls carrying a mouse or vole. There is one pair here in a nest box.


  1. Hi Ralph,

    I was actually there this morning when one of the goslings got taken. I only just fed them and then walked further away only to hear an upset goose noise so I turn around and there is a large gull taking off from the shore where the family was with something wriggling in its beak. Right away obvious its a gosling, I tried clapping my hands and the gull dropped him into the water but it was almost in the middle of the lake, it was stilk alive calling their parents but suddenly two more gulls started swooping onto him and probably injured him. Again he was still alive and they let him off and flew away but after a while he went flat and died. The parents didnt bother to help him nothing. Often times they have so many they can’t keep up with the guarding.

    1. Sad. But even if Egyptian Geese have only a couple of goslings to look after, they often forget to guard them, either if the parents rush off to attack another bird or for no reason at all. The number of Egyptians in the park is falling now, evidently because of the increase of Herring Gulls.

  2. Good to see the young Herons doing so well.

    Curious about the Wood Pigeon on the pedalos. Could it be finding crumbs?

    1. Possibly. It's always in the place where the active boats are going in and out.

  3. Perhaps the blue background shows the Pigeon's colouring to best advantage? It would then have as firm a grasp on colour coordination as the Coot, a fan of an all-white harmony, does.

    Just an attempt to inject some levity to take my mind off the poor goslings :-(

    1. I am actually wondering whether some birds enjoy this blue plastic adventure playground for its own sake.