Wednesday 17 April 2019

Today's most interesting news comes without a picture. Yesterday evening Des McKenzie heard two Tawny Owls calling in the Flower Walk. I looked around there today and predictably saw nothing, but will go back shortly when it is getting dark.

Update: I heard a Tawny Owl calling several times somewhere near the Physical Energy statue at 8.25pm. I was in the Flower Walk at the time and went towards the sound, but it stopped so I can't be any more specific about the place. Anyway, I got a picture of the moon over the Albert Memorial.

Back to the daytime: the two surviving young Grey Herons, perhaps shocked by the death of their sibling, retreated to their nest. The adult heron on the left is their next door neighbour.

One of last year's young herons was on the ornamental rock in near the Italian Garden, delicately sipping water while keeping an eye out for fish.

A Mallard drake preened on the edge of the little stream in the Dell as a shoal of large carp browsed in front of him.

Two Mandarin drakes at the Vista, having nothing better to do while their mates were nesting, chased off a pair of Gadwalls.

The male Mute Swan of the dominant pair on the Long Water dug up the bottom of their little island, which they have steadily been destroying since it was made for them three years ago.

There have been no further casualties among the Egyptian Geese, and the total number of goslings remains at seven.

This is a long view of the very large Coot nest at the Dell restaurant. As with an iceberg, only a small part shows above the surface.

The Coot on the nest at Peter Pan was performing an odd foot-flipping routine.

A male Moorhen chased his mate in the Dell.

The park Moorhens, completely used to people, tend to lie on the edge of the path, not budging even if you walk within inches of them.

One of the Great Crested Grebes nesting at the east end of the island sat peacefully on the eggs.

Its mate was doing absolutely nothing. Grebes, like tigers, are such highly efficient hunters that they spend most of their time resting. One foot trails in the water to keep station, the other is tucked up under the wing.

The pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull was temporarily away from his hunting ground, and the Feral Pigeons could bathe and preen. But when he returned, the shore was deserted.

When you see a single pigeon in a tree, it's likely to be a Stock Dove rather than a Feral Pigeon. They are slightly smaller and always a standard grey colour, and have dark eyes.

A Long-Tailed Tit looked down from a twig in the Dell.

The shy Coal Tit in the leaf yard hung around waiting for a chance to take a pine nut off the railings.


  1. Great news about the Tawnies, and we got a wonderful picture of the moon over the Albert Memorial in the bargain.

    If there is such thing as re-incarnation, I'd like to come back as a Grebe.

    The scale of that Coots' nest is staggering!

    1. There are three big heaps of waterlogged branches here: the remains of the Coots' abandoned nest near the Serpentine outflow, another heap nearer the outflow, and this one. The floor of the lake must be strewn with waterlogged branches which the Coots collect from far and wide and somehow manage to haul to a nest site.