Friday 5 April 2019

Mateusz of Bluebird Boats was going past the island when he spotted a Redshank on one of the wire baskets surrounding the island, and took a picture of it on his mobile.

This is a very unusual visitor to Central London, and the nearest population is at the Wetland Centre in Barnes. It is on the park list, maybe a record from 1917 when several were seen near Victoria Station.

Today's other birds were less exotic, and the main news is that at least one of the young Grey Herons is now flying.  Here it is coming up to land on the nest.

This is a very distant view, taken from across the lake, of the heron nest on the south side of the island. You can just see the head of one chick, my first sighting of young in the nest.

The Mute Swans nesting at the Lido restaurant now have one egg.

A new Bar-Headed--Greylag hybrid goose has arrived from St James's Park. They are visiting Hyde Park all the time now.

The usual gang of Red-Crested Pochards was on the Serpentine. The female definitely considers this drake as her mate, and the other three drakes are merely hangers-on.

There were also a couple of Mandarins at the Lido.

The Coot nest on the wire baskets near the bridge has grown further. The Coot looked proudly at a bit of orange cloth it had added as an ornament.

A male Coot chased a female, trying to mate with her, but she wasn't in the mood and skittered away.

The pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull and his mate shared a Feral Pigeon while hungry Carrion Crows hung around hoping to grab a bite.

There are still two Black-Headed Gulls on the Serpentine, and one of them was in a bad way. When I first saw it, it was lying down. Later it managed to stand up, and even fly a few feet, but it was very weak and refused a bit of digestive biscuit, something no healthy gull would do.

The Little Owl near the Henry Moore sculpture was sitting low down in her hole.

There was also a brief sight, too short for a picture, of one of the Little Owls near the Albert Memorial going into a hole in the oak tree a few feet northwest of their original nest tree. I think they are nesting in this new place, and have abandoned the original hole, which let in the rain through a crack in the top and was contested by Stock Doves and squirrels.

A Treecreeper walked along the underside of a branch on the original oak.

Two Starlings bathed at the edge of the terrace of the Lido restaurant.

One of the two male Song Thrushes in the Flower Walk was in excellent form.

There were several Blackcaps around the Long Water ...

... and a Goldcrest beside the Serpentine near the bridge.

A Great Tit delicately picked bits out of a pine nut I gave it.

Tom was at the spendidly named Mudchute Farm, and got a good picture of a Pied Flycatcher.


  1. Well done to Mateusz, that’s a great sighting!

    1. It was also Mateusz who found a Water Rail on the boat hire platform. All kinds of strange and wonderful creatures are creeping around in the park largely unnoticed.

  2. I could listen to that Song Thrush for hours.

    What a great sighting of the Redshank! Congratulations to Mateusz.

    We only get Flycatchers when they are passing through from and to their breeding grounds. They are such funny little creatures.

    1. There are Redshanks east of London at Rainham Marshes, and west of London at the Wetland Centre in Barnes, and I suppose it was flying from one to the other and made a slight northerly detour from the winding course of the river, saw a lake below, and decided to explore. We do get errant waders from time to time that have presumably done that. But a Redshank in a city centre is extremely unusual.