Tuesday, 14 May 2019

A pair of Greylag Geese on the Serpentine have two goslings. They are too young to be survivors of the brood of five seen on 3 May, which all seem to have been lost.

A Mallard at Peter Pan has three ducklings.

The Gadwalls we see on the lake don't breed here. They have nesting hutches in the gardens of Buckingham Palace. The safety of these places accounts for the large number of females among them, as they are not predated on the nest. Among wild ducks females are usually in quite a small minority.

The Mute Swan pair nesting on the little island in the Long Water seemed to be excited about something, though I couldn't see what. It's about time the eggs started hatching.

An Egyptian Goose preened on a post at Peter Pan. The varied colours of the different sections of their wing feathers make you realise what a complicated thing the wing of a large bird is.

The Coots nesting at the boathouse saw an intruder and sallied out together to attack it. But in the ensuing fight, it seemed that they had forgotten who was who, and were just going for each other indiscriminately.

The Great Crested Grebes' nest under the willow near the bridge was a peaceful scene.

The grebes at the west end of the island were doing a bit of nest maintenance. I don't think they've laid any more eggs yet after losing their chick.

A Starling nesting in the shelter on Buck Hill searched in the long grass for insects to bring to the nestlings.

A Pied Wagtail ran up the edge of the Serpentine, also on the hunt.

A Magpie surveyed a patch of nettles for possible worms or bugs.

A young Blackbird waited in the bushes beside the Long Water while I gave its father some sultanas to take to it.

There was a good view of a Little Owl in the oak tree near the Albert Memorial.


  1. Do Magpies get stung by nettles? Saw a Magpie today rummaging through what I thought was an empty packet of diet biscuits and discarding it with apparent digust.

    Funny how silent the Swans are, even when they are utterly excited. I think Ralph got the exact same moment of hatching on camera.
    The fine madness of Coots strike again!

    1. I've seen various birds sticking their faces into nettles. I think they're protected by their feathers and manage to keep their eyes out of the way of the leaves.

      The swans were silent, but in fact I had to turn the sound right down on that clip because I was standing next to the marble fountain.