Friday, 3 May 2019

The first Greylag goslings have come out on the island.

There were also three new Egyptian goslings. Their mother chased off a Great Crested Grebe which was harmlessly passing by.

Three goslings from one of the older broods huddled on the edge of the Serpentine.

The first Coot chicks appeared today, in a nest on the little island on the Long Water that was made for Mute Swans to nest on.

The Coot on the nest at the Lido restaurant adjusted a leaf on its nest. It was a red leaf, Coots' favourite colour, and called for a well considered aesthetic decision.

A female Great Crested Grebe lay down in an enticing position to encourage her mate to hurry up with nest building. As far as I know, Grebes can only mate on the nest, not in the water.

Two Grey Wagtails were hunting for insects from the dead willow near the Italian Garden, a male ...

... and a female. This is a different pair from the ones seen at the far end of the Serpentine.

There are still three singing male Reed Warblers in the reed bed near the Diana fountain. Fran got this excellent shot of one of them.

Another climbed up the stems as it sang.

There was also a female Reed Bunting, which was flying between the reed bed and some nearby bushes. It kept in cover and was very difficult to photograph, but Tom managed to get it in the middle of a bush.

A Song Thrush was singing beside the Long Water. Annoyingly, it stopped singing just as I arrived, so all you get is a still picture.

However, a Blackbird was singing well on the stump of a sawn-off branch nearby.

A Goldcrest posed in a bush. They are not at all shy, but most of the time they are hidden by leaves and you have to wait for a chance.

The Little Owl near the Albert Memorial was preening and stretching.

A Carrion Crow had stolen an unopened packet of crisps at the Lido restaurant. It took it into the Diana fountain enclosure and opened it with a few efficient pecks.

It took three to get this dramatic picture of a Jay snatching a peanut, and four tries. I held up the nut, Tom took a burst shot, and the Jay enjoyed the game, which provides it with not only a peanut but a chance to show off its precision flying skills.


  1. The Jay may think that it got the lion's share, but I think it was we the readers who get to enjoy the fruit of the labours.

    Coots are great interior decorators as well as architects. Good fighters too, and they never let up. Perhaps God decided not to give them brains commesurate with their building abilities out of fear that they'd replace humans as the dominant species.

    It'd be fun to imagine a planet in which Coots became intelligent and evolved as the dominant species.

    1. We live in a society where our rulers have both the intelligence and the aggressiveness of Coots but none of their skill.