Thursday, 16 May 2019

The Mute Swans who lost their cygnet yesterday have just hatched a new one. There is at least one egg still in the nest, and probably more.

Another swan nest in the reeds on the east side of the Long Water remains active in spite of the intention of the dominant pair to chase the occupants off.

The Greylag Geese with one surviving gosling were keeping a close watch on it at the Lido.

A young Herring Gull chased a Greylag over the Round Pond. The goose was holding a bit of bread. But it was an ambitious and unsuccessful attack.

An Egyptian gosling washed beside the boathouse, and then swam off to rejoin its family on the other side.

A Mallard brought three new ducklings to eat the algae on the kerb on the edge of the Long Water at the Vista, a perilously open place.

The little stream in the Dell is swarming with midges, and a pair of Mallards were making the most of them.

There were four Great Crested Grebes on the Round Pond today. I think two of them came up from the main lake after losing a fight for territory. They too were eating midges.

The grebes nesting on the basket at the west end of the island have two eggs, laid to replace the brood they lost earlier.

This Coot insists on rebuilding a nest on the platform of Bluebird Boats, no matter how often it's removed. The nest can't succeed, as the platform is too high for the chicks to climb up when they fall into the water, but the Coot is not intelligent enough to realise this.

At the Dell restaurant, the Coots' response to having their nest washed away in a storm has been to rebuild it larger than before.

These Coot chicks were hatched inside the boathouse, but are now regularly coming out to be fed. Keeping close to the walls makes them safer from attack by gulls, and of course they can also dive if threatened.

Swifts were flying over the Round Pond, but numbers seem lower than last year.

There were also a few House Martins. It's possible that these nest in Kensington Palace.

Several Pied Wagtails were running around the edge of the pond, calling to each other.

They certainly nest in the palace, as I have seen them flying into the roof of the main block.

A Chaffinch sang in a swaying treetop in the Rose Garden.

I think this Nuthatch in the leaf yard is a young one, though it looks much like an adult. It was constantly begging to be fed. Its father came to my hand repeatedly and took at least 20 pine nuts for it.

This is the first picture I've been able to get this year of a young Great Tit. Its parents were feeding it near the bridge, again on pine nuts supplied to them.

A Rose-Ringed Parakeet ate a plum in a red-leafed tree.

This hole in a plane tree near the small boathouses used to belong to Starlings, but a pair of Parakeets took it over during the winter and aren't leaving.


  1. Swans are so unsentimental, for such good parents.

    I imagine one gets used to it in the end, but I recoil at the thought of the park being a killing field right now for ducklings and goslings. Larger gulls appear to have no predators to control their population.

    Undaunted and undeterred, Coots are the best example of courage in the face of all odds. They will achieve their object if only by sheer force of will.

    1. Swans are terribly stricken by losing their mates, and may go into a decline and die.