Wednesday 3 April 2019

A party of Feral Pigeons bathing in the Long Water were rudely pushed out by an aggressive Coot.

Coots had the upper hand almost everywhere. The pair nesting on the wire baskets next to the bridge now have a good-sized nest and are keeping the Mute Swans away.

A pair have taken over the Great Crested Grebes' nest at the east end of the island, and the occupant was also confronting a swan.

But the grebe on the nest at the other end of the island was sitting undisturbed.

Another grebe picked small insects off the surface of the lake. I think they were chironomid midges.

The only Coot failure was a hopeless attempt to build a nest underneath one of the fountains in the Italian Garden. There is space enough under the structure to admit a Coot, but there doesn't seem to be anything to which twigs can be attached, even by such a skilled nest builder, and they have failed every time they have tried.

A pair of Mute Swans made a nest on the bank of the Long Water near the bridge. The female was doing almost all of the work.

A pair of Egyptians near the Serpentine island had eleven goslings. They were straggling all over the place, and this was the only picture I could get with all of them in the frame.

This is one of the two goslings of the pair at the Lido, a few days old now.

They young Grey Herons are still in the nest on the island, being fed by their indulgent parents. They are overdue to be kicked out and left to fend for themselves.

A heron at one of the boathouses was looking for fish sheltering under a bunch of sprouted wheat.

The plants come from the Zoroastrian new year festival of Nowruz. At the spring solstice, seeds are sprouted, and the shoots are later thrown into water.

The female Little Owl near the Albert Memorial was in an oak a few yards west of the pair's nest tree.

A Carrion Crow was in a nest in a plane tree on the south shore of the Serpentine. There are a lot of large twiggy nests here, some belonging to crows, others to Magpies.

A Pied Wagtail hunted insects in the blue plastic landscape of moored pedalos. Bird droppings on the pedalos attract insects, and you can see a fair number of these in the picture.

A Starling shone on a yew branch in the leaf yard during a sunny interval.

A yew next to the bridge provided a perch for a Blue Tit.

A Robin at the Lido alternately sang and scratched its head with a foot. Geese made a racket in the background.


  1. Hello Ralph, the third family of Egyptians have lost the lot in one day.... sadly they had 4 blond goslings as the father is blond.... shocked to find the parents sans babies this morning. The big new family had 13 at 10am, its very difficult for them at the moment with lots of hungry heron mouths and no doubt countless herring gull young too....
    I had to laugh at the coots nest by bridge...... yep, they had found a lovely strip of red ribbon to adorn it with- plus part of a Ford car hubcap! There is no end to their scavenging skills. Give them metal detectors and who knows what treasures they might find:))))))

    Best wishes as ever, V

    1. Thanks for the update. It's tempting to invest too much emotional capital in baby Egyptians when we know that most of them are doomed by their parents' silly aggressivenes and their own tendency to wander off. One just has to harden one's heart and view them as a historian would view an 18th century human family.

      Coots rule. We all know that.

    2. Or as an 18th century moralistic illustrator might view them. Jim

    3. And there is no one crueller than an 18th century moralist.

    4. PS. "A Drake's Progress"? "Marriage A-lo-pochen"? Jim

  2. That Coot did it on purpose. It has a look of complete determination to make as much a nuisance of itself as possible.

    Swans backing down to a Coot. The End is near.

    1. This is the second time I've seen a Coot attacking a Mute Swan. Their aggressiveness never ceases to amaze.