Sunday 21 April 2019

The female Little Owl near the Albert Memorial enjoyed a preen on an oak branch.

A Carrion Crow found a dead fish on the edge of the Serpentine and made the most of it until frightened away by a child.

In spite of the Easter crowds there were plenty of small birds on the east side of the Long Water: a singing Dunnock ...

... and Blackcap ...

... a Long-Tailed Tit ...

... and a Song Thrush foraging in the grass.

Here for comparison is the Mistle Thrush near the Serpentine Gallery: larger, greyer and with differently shaped spots.

One of the young Grey Herons was on a wire basket next to the island, looking for fish.

The other was out of sight, but there was an adult intruder in the nest, stealing twigs for its own nest.

Later one of the young herons was in the nest when it was attacked by what I think was the same adult.

But later still all was back to normal and there was the usual noisy and violent scene of the two young birds being fed.

The Coots' nest on the buoys at the corner of the Lido swimming area was destroyed when the buoys were towed away for cleaning. The pair have built a new nest a bit farther along, and were mating on it.

Mostly Coots' silly nests in exposed places on the edge of the lake are quickly abandoned, but the Coot has already put quite a lot of work into this one.

One of the two Mandarin drakes on the Serpentine shone in the sunlight.

Some large carp were swimming below the parapet of the Italian Garden.

As I am writing this, I can hear the unmistakable wheezing call of a Greenfinch outside the window. And there it is, 100 yards away on a television aerial in the light of the setting sun.


  1. Thanks for the two Thrush pictures. I’m still rather poor at distinguishing them

    1. The spots on the belly (not on the upper breast) are a certain way. Song Thrush: elongated upwards with pointed tops. Mistle Thrush: elongated sideways, oblong.

  2. I concur with Ian: they are all Thrushes to me!

    I wish I could send you some Greenfinches your way. I can hear and see them daily from my window. I'd trade them for a couple of Swans, which would soon, hopefully, terrorize the neighbourhood.

    Are the young Herons beginning to recover their confidence? Let's hope so.

    That is an amazing effort the Coot is making. Doubtless it will come to nothing, but it is a gallant attempt.

    1. Greenfinches were never very common in central London, but they have now been attacks by a respiratory infection and are becoming rare. We have lots of Goldfinches, though, and they too like television aerials.

      Today is the first day I've seen both the young herons out of the nest since they lost their sibling -- and then one was attacked in its own nest by another heron, which seemed strange.