Sunday 29 March 2020

The pleasant spring weather is over, and today there was an icy northwest wind with occasional sleet.

You'd think the Grey Heron chicks would be keeping their little heads down. But as usual they were standing up and moving around.

The fallen blossom carried by the wind to the edge of the lake is full of insects, which a Magpie, Moorhen and Pied Wagtail were busily harvesting.

The missing female Mute Swan on the Long Water, not seen for three days,  has turned up looking as if nothing had happened. But she was not with her mate.

Evidently he had been sitting on their nest to keep his territory -- not that he needs to, as he controls the whole of the Long Water. The male swan at the boathouse is doing the same.

The gates of the Lido swimming area have been closed to stop people from swimming there, as part of the general attempt to make everyone as miserable as possible. A pair of swans are taking advantage of the lack of disturbance to nest on the edge. Sadly, the gates won't keep foxes out as there is a big gap under them.

Almost all the wintering Pochards have left, but a few always remain.

The Great Crested Grebes on the Long Water were ignoring the return of winter and having a display. This pair usually nest in the branches of the big fallen poplar at the Vista.

A very brief clip of a Coot trying to mate and ignominiously falling off.

A Moorhen contemplated a solitary bluebell but decided it wasn't edible.

Every year the wildflower bed in the Rose Garden is dug up and replanted. It hardly seems necessary, as the surviving flowers come up by themselves. This is a borage plant on the edge of the cleared area.

The two pairs of Great Spotted Woodpeckers in the Rose Garden were chasing and drumming. Here is a female in a treetop.

A Jackdaw stared keenly from an oak tree in the leaf yard.

Two Coal Tits near the bridge came out to be fed.


  1. We found a swan this morning on the east side of the long water, just along from the Henry Moore, poking her head through the railings as if desperately trying to get back to the water. We started to usher her back to the Italian gardens, where she could have got through, but she started going up Buck Hill and took off after a run on the grass.

    1. It's always a surprise to see them take off from the ground. It must be a supreme effort for them, to be done only in emergency.

  2. I had a very quick walk through the park today. Two Lesser-Black backed gulls were displaying near the end of the Long Water. I think they were the same two that you pictured yesterday being chased away by Coots.

    I also had a glimpse of the two Heron chicks in the nest.

    1. They were on the posts around the ruins of the swan island when I passed.

  3. So happy so see the female swan is alive and apparently in good health!

    Poor male Coot. It appears flustered by its incompetence.

    Do the Heron babies not have the instinct to keep their heads down in the wind and sleet?

    1. I was surprised by the little herons too. But birds don't react to cold like we do, and are fine if they have enough food to keep their little furnaces blazing.