Friday 19 April 2019

Not all Coots are masters of nest building. Some try vaguely to gather a few twigs together in an impossibly exposed place on the edge of the lake, and give up after a couple of days.

Yesterday a Coot invaded the Great Crested Grebes' nest at the east end of the island.

Today the grebes had regained it.

The grebes at the bridge have abandoned their original nest site, which was too close to a Coots' nest, and are building under an oak tree a few yards along the bank. This site has been successful in recent years.

Greylag Geese lined up along the edge of the Serpentine in the early morning before the park got too busy.

A pair of Canada Geese mated at the Lido.

The male of the dominant pair of Mute Swans on the Long Water guarded the nest while the female was taking a break. You can indistinctly see several eggs at the right of the picture.

Grey Herons find the dead willow near the Italian Garden a convenient fishing station.

The female Little Owl near the Albert Memorial was out on an oak branch. Since the pair moved to a new tree it has been possible to get more varied pictures of them.

A Starling hunted among the daisies at the edge of Rotten Row, and found a larva.

A Pied Wagtail caught an insect.

A Robin gathered nest lining material.

A Wren sang outside a nest in a poplar tree at the edge of the Peter Pan waterfront. The nest is hidden by ivy.

A Long-Tailed Tit in the Dell enjoyed a scratch.

The waterfall in the Dell, at the outflow of the lake, suggests that a fair-sized stream is flowing through. Actually the water is recirculated by a pump and only a small amount drains out at the end of the stream and flows underground to the Thames. Recently a new pump has been put in, making the waterfall more impressive. The Dell is an ideal landscape, designed and maintained with care.


  1. That Coot must be the village idiot, poor thing.

    I reckon the Dell waterfall, artificial or not, is one of the loveliest places I have ever seen.

    Great picture of the Long-Tailed Tit having a scratch! That must have been difficult to catch.

    1. Quite a lot of Coots attempt these hopeless nests on the edge of the Serpentine. There are plenty of places on the island and around the wooded shore of the Long Water where nests can be made. Evidently territorial disputes keep the nests well spaced out here, forcing the underlings to build in unsuitable places.