Tuesday 4 June 2019

It was a grey drizzly day with few people in the park, good conditions for seeing small birds. There were several families of Coal Tits. Tom got a picture of a young one in a hawthorn near the Italian Garden ...

... and I got some video of young ones begging and being fed ...

... and this shot of an adult removing a faecal sac from the nest. The nestlings' droppings come out neatly wrapped, and the parent takes them away and drops them at some distance from the nest to avoid revealing where it is.

A Pied Wagtail caught insects and fed them to its two young at the edge of the terrace of the Dell restaurant.

Ahmet Amerikali was in Southwark Park, where he got a fine picture of a young Sparrow. It does seem that Sparrows are very slowly returning to the centre of London, and perhaps the new Ultra Low Emission Zone will clean up the air enough for them to reoccupy all their old area.

He also got a Wren chick.

A Blackbird near the Dell collected worms for its young.

Another, near the Italian Garden, gave a warning call. This call is uttered, and understood, by many songbirds. It means that there is a predator above, either flying or higher in the tree. The high pitch makes the bird harder to locate.

A Greenfinch sang from a dead branch nearby ...

And this Jay swooped down to grab a peanut from my fingers.

I hadn't had a Jay come to my hand here before, but Tom said that earlier a Jay had actually perched on his hand to eat some shelled nuts. Until now, the only Jay known to do this was in St James's Park.

The female Little Owl near the Henry Moore sculpture unexpectedly appeared in her usual hole in the lime tree. I had though she was nesting in a horse chestnut at the top of Buck Hill, where she can't be seen.

This is a sadly distant photograph because the owl was looking in alarm at a woman trundling obliviously up the hill straight at her, and vanished into her hole a second afterwards. I came back later, but no owl.

It came on to rain quite hard, and a Wood Pigeon bathed in a puddle.

The two Little Grebes could be seen at a distance from the Italian Garden. They headed into a reed bed on the east side of the Long Water. It's possible that they are nesting.

Tom got this close-up of a Little Grebe in Regent's Park, where they are very used to people.

A Coot stood on the propeller guard of one of the motor boats. One year, a Coot tried to build a nest on an outboard motor.

The other blue-eyed Greylag Goose has turned up to moult on the Serpentine. This is not the familiar enormous one which is a permanent resident, and is only slightly larger than a normal Greylag. Probably both are partly or wholly domestic geese, which are genetically Greylags but bred for size.

A pair of Gadwalls rested on the edge of the water.

A Little Egret was seen over Hyde Park, flying east.

Another excellent picture from Tom: a male Kestrel in Richmond Park with a vole.


  1. Love the video of the young Coal Tit being bed. Adorable creature!

    The return of sparrows to central Londron is excellent news. Here's hoping that pretty soon you will be surrounded by their familiar, if unmelodious, chirps, and entertained by their general sauciness.

    That's a great close up of the Little Grebe. Funny how they act so different in Regent's park.

    1. In Regent's Park I've stood on the edge of the water and had them diving inches from my feet. I think that what happens on land is of no concern to them. And if danger did threaten, their instant dive would get them away from it.