Tuesday 10 March 2020

This may be the last day we shall see the Long-Tailed Tits building their nest. Once the roof is complete they will be invisible.

Building was halted for a while by the arrival of a couple of Magpies. Not wanting to reveal the location of their nest, the incoming tits waited on bushes till the intruders were gone.

The local male Great Spotted Woodpecker constantly visited the feeder, which is full of sunflower hearts.

A Blackcap sang on the edge of the Diana memorial car park, and also diagonally across the bridge. It may have been the same bird, and it may have been a newly arrived migrant or not, as we have a few Blackcaps that overwinter.

A Dunnock was also singing in the car park ...

... and so was a Greenfinch, though I couldn't get a picture of it.

No sign of Redwings on the Parade Ground. Twittering in the trees proved to come from a small flock of Goldfinches.

A Blackbird beside the Long Water picked up a leaf to add to her nest.

A pair of Herring Gulls danced on the wet grass near the Dell to bring up worms.

The pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Back and his mate were in an easy mood, as he had caught a pigeon and they had shared it for lunch. They flew off together ...

... leaving the remains to the Carrion Crows.

A crow bathed in the floods near the Physical Energy statue.

It was changeover time at the Grey Herons' nest on the south side of the island. Still no sight of any chicks.

The other occupied nest on the island still has a sitting heron in it, but not showing well enough to be worth a picture.

An Egyptian Goose at the Henry Moore sculpture was fluffed up by a tailwind. This is the male of the pair that are usually here. The female has been invisible for some days, and it looks as if she's nesting. However, the pair have never managed to raise a brood, always losing the goslings within a few days.

The lurid colour of the background is caused by dead grass. When the sculpture was re-erected a few years ago the ground was returfed hastily and carelessly without removing a large stand of thistles and other plants, which then came up through the grass. It looks as if the gardeners have put down weedkiller in the hope of wiping out everything before trying again. I hope it's the kind that decays when it hits the ground. Anyway, the Egyptian looks perfectly healthy.

Two more pictures from St James's Park by Joan Chatterley. The Black Swans with seven new cygnets are taking a strong line with the Herring Gulls, as they need to.

The teenage Black Swan was pushed out of the way by an adult. The picture clearly shows the difference in the colour of their plumage.


  1. I saw the cygnets yesterday and was encouraged that they’ve learned to cluster next to their parents at any sign of danger.
    Thank you for your reports on the Long Tailed Tits. Their nest is a work of beauty.

    1. I do hope that this brood of Black cygnets does better than previous ones.

  2. The video of the Long Tailed Tits hard at building a nest for their future chicks, and the miraculous work such tiny balls of fluff are capable of, is the best antidote for all ills.

    The picture of the Black Swan adults defending their young is incredible.

    1. I do hope the Long-Tailed Tits' nest is not too exposed. If we can see it, so can the Magpie. Will its camouflage and the surrounding prickly gorse be enough?

  3. I saw a Eurasian sparrowhawk when I walked by Sam's swimming school yesterday. If you are happy to post that I can send you the photo. How can I do that?

    1. Thank you. You can email it to the address on the blog, kensingtonbirds@gmail.com . Large pictures are preferable; I can crop and reduce them as necessary. The minimum size for a clear picture is 1000 x 750 pixels. Please also say roughly where the picture was taken.