Monday, 6 May 2019

A Great Crested Grebe brought a willow twig to the pair's nest under the collapsed willow next to the bridge.

It had stolen the twig from a Coot's large nest a few feet away, made almost entirely of these twigs.

There is a space under the spray nozzles of the fountains in the Italian Garden, and for years Coots have been trying to build nests here, but have never managed to make anything stick to the cast iron walls. It looks as if this Coot has finally managed it, but it may not be able to carry the project through.

The Coots nesting at the bridge have a passion for plastic, and ornament their nest with it at every opportunity.

Recently I found a Vegan girl almost in tears at the amount of plastic waste on the nest. (You always know when people are Vegans, as they feel compelled to tell you.) I pointed out that plastic is a useful resource to Coots and allows them to build fine strong nests, and in doing so they clear the rubbish from the lake, but she would have none of this and went away moping.

The dominant Mute Swan on the Long Water squared up to a rival.

He is continuing his clearout of the lake and will probably get it done by the time the cygnets hatch, but there are a lot of swans to get rid of and it's a gradual process. As the number of swans in the park steadily increases, the clearout takes longer every year.

The Mallards occupying the Peter Pan enclosure are still sitting obstinately among the wildflowers, ignoring the humans milling around the statue.

This Egyptian Goose on the Round Pond had eight goslings, and there was another family with four. When the second family lost two, they deserted the remaining two and these were adopted into the larger brood. So far the ten seem to be leading a charmed life, with no losses to gulls or crows.

A pair of Pied Wagtails hunted insects together at the edge of the Round Pond. The male has a black back and the female a grey one, although this female is quite dark and the colour difference is barely noticeable.

This year we never quite lost our migrant population of Black-Headed Gulls. There always at least two, and now there are more. This one stared severely at the camera from a post at Peter Pan.

There was a view across the Long Water of a bird with an odd-shaped silhouette, of which I only managed to get an absolutely rotten picture because it was 300 yards away. But it looks like the familiar female Kestrel carrying a mouse.

A Blackbird fledgling followed its mother across the grass near the Serpentine Gallery begging for food, and she found a worm for it.

A Dunnock collecting insects for its young paused on the footbridge at the back of the Lido. It flew off before I could get any closer.

A Wren climbed around an umbel beside the Long Water.

The Jackdaws have now become so unafraid of people that they will stand in the middle of the path and expect you to walk around them.

The park's foxes are also unworried. This one trotted along the edge of the Dell next to a path with people walking along it.

It's hard to identify a small white butterfly from the upper side. Was it a Small White?

When it turned sideways it was plain that it was a Green-Veined White.

This is a misleading name. The veins are not green, it's their surroundings that are tinted, and the colour is more grey than green.

The Chilean Rhubarb growing near the Italian Garden has interesting involute curves on its leaves. There is one on either side of the stem, but one overlies the other.


  1. I see that Jackdaws are taking a page from Swans: we move for no one.

    Vegan folks are much like cross-fitters (and I confess to having a fondness for both genera). How do you know they are vegans or cross-fitters? The will tell you themselves at once.

    Yet another merit in the long exemplary list of merits of Coots: they recycle.

    1. Moorhens also belong to the non-movers' club. I almost trod on one by mistake when backing off to take a picture, and all it did was give me an aggrieved look and go back to sleep.

  2. Looks like a Sparrowhawk to me

    1. I thought so too at first, but the colouring made me guess Kestrel.