Saturday, 4 May 2019

The House Martins flying over the Serpentine ...

... have been joined by a small group of Swifts.

I didn't see the Grey Wagtails that were near the Italian Garden yesterday, but one of the original pair was running up the edge of the Serpentine at the Lido restaurant ...

... and the other was on the Long Water using a fallen poplar tree as a base from which to fly out and catch insects.

The four Reed Warblers were all singing.

A Garden Warbler sang in a bush beside the Long Water, but wouldn't come out to be photographed.

A second Blackbird beside the Long Water is now collecting sultanas to carry off to his nest.

The usual Jay near the bridge was waiting to fly down and grab a peanut from my hand.

A young Herring Gull made itself comfortable in a swan-headed urn in the Italian Garden.

A pair of Mute Swans were making a nest in the reed bed on the east side of the Long Water.

They won't be there for long if the dominant male has his way. He was swaggering around the Long Water, having one of his periodical clearouts of rivals.

This brood of three Egyptian goslings on the Serpentine now has two larger goslings and one smaller one. Another brood has the opposite. Evidently they have exchanged goslings by mistake.

Although Egyptian Geese are notoriously vague parents, it's worth noting that the same thing happens with the much more attentive Greylag and Canada Geese, and there is a Greylag on the Serpentine that thinks it's a Canada because it was brought up with 14 Canada goslings last year.

Jon Ferguson reports that there were two families of Egyptians on the Round Pond, one with eight goslings and the other with four. The second family lost two goslings, and now the first one has taken over the other two and has ten.

A Great Crested Grebe was settled down on the nest under the willow. There are probably more eggs in it now than the single one I saw a couple of days ago.

The Coot nesting under the bridge turned over the eggs to keep them evenly warmed.

A chick from the nest on the little island in the Long Water swam out to be fed by a parent.

A Coot is trying to build a nest in the narrow gap between three plastic buoys at the Lido swimming area. The project isn't going well.

Tom was at Thursley Common to photograph the reliable Cuckoo that flies there from Africa every year. This bird is now so tame that he's almost a pet, and they have called him Colin.


  1. Delighted to make Colin's acquaintance. He looks like a very well-behaved fellow.

    Now seriously, I can't believe over there you have tame Couckoos as well as tame Herons!

    Three to one that Coot ends up building a serviceable nest.

    1. I think that Coot is one of the very few that isn't good at nest building -- there have to be some. The nest has been stuck like that for several days.