Saturday 28 March 2020

The Grey Heron chicks are becoming more active by the day. Both were standing up in the nest. A pity that they have to be filmed from 200 yards away.

The heron in the other nest is still a long way from hatching the eggs ...

... but a teenager hatched in December or January, which has flown in from another heronry, shows how slow our lot are to get going.

The heron with the injured leg was in the lush foliage of the Dell, looking as if it had strayed into a Douanier Rousseau painting. It was impossible to see how well it's recovering, but at least it's getting around.

A brisk northeast wind was making choppy waves break on the edge of the Serpentine. A Pied Wagtail was not worried, and just skipped out of the way.

It found a small larva in the fallen blossom washing up along the edge.

A male Blackbird near the bridge was looking smart.

A female Chaffinch perched on a twig, but flew away before I could get round to an angle where there wasn't a twig in front of her.

A Carrion Crow drank from the top of the Dell waterfall, taking a sip and then throwing back its head to swallow the water. All drinking birds do this except pigeons, which seem to be able to use their tongues to create a sort of straw that can suck up water.

One of the Coots nesting on the remains of the swan island in the Long Water shooed away a Lesser Black-Backed Gull.

The Coots at the Dell restaurant were attending to their nest, which was sheltered from the wind by the balcony and in quite calm water.

A Coot near the Triangle Car Park was sitting on its haunches like a dog. When it stood up it seemed weak and wobbly on its legs. This also happens to some geese. It's not clear why. The organism that causes botulism is usually present in lakes and birds can tolerate it in small amounts, but it usually only proliferates in warm weather.

The male Mute Swan of the dominant Long Water pair was by himself in the nest again today. I haven't seen his mate for several days, and am worried that a fox may have taken her while she was sitting. This has already happened to an earlier mate of this swan, and it was for that reason that the swan island was built. Now it been allowed to collapse, the old danger has returned.

Joan Chatterley was in Battersea Park, and sent me this interesting picture of an Egyptian Goose family with one pale gosling. This is exactly what Blondie looked like when she was hatched several years ago.


  1. There can only be one Blondie, though.

    I don't know if it is my imagination, but the swan appears very dejected. I hope it isn't bereaved, although I fear the worst. Good news about the injured heron though, and it even found it in its heart to regale us with a lovely photo opportunity.

    1. I don't think it is your imagination about the swan. He really does seem miserable and droopy, as swans become when they lose their mate.

  2. Hope those young Herons keep down today- really blustery out there & pretty icy wind at that!

    1. No, they were sticking their heads out as usual. I suppose the're OK as long as they get plenty of delicious regurgitated fish and rat.