Wednesday 8 April 2020

A brief video of the Mistle Thrush nestlings being fed, the first time they've been reasonably visible from below.

Here are some clearer still pictures.

There are three in the nest.

A male Chaffinch perched on the feeder in the Rose Garden. Usually they prefer to pick up the spilt seeds on the ground ...

... as his mate was doing.

A female Blackbird ate berries in a large patch of ivy on the fence at the back of the Lido.

A female Magpie mimicked the action of a nestling begging for food by fluttering her wings and uttering a pathetic little cry. This display to her mate means 'Will you feed me when I'm in the nest and can't leave my eggs?'

Another Magpie picked up mud in a boggy area near the Dell. I was surprised to see this, as I had supposed that a Magpie nest was a dry construction made from twigs. I can't see any worms in this lump.

The female Little Owl at the Henry Moore sculpture was out in front of the nest hole.

We are supposed to stay 2 metres away from each other in the park. Grey Herons prefer 4 metres. Any closer and a fight breaks out.

A Coot in the nest at the Dell restaurant faced down a Herring Gull which had come to see if there were any eggs to steal. As far as I can see the Coot hasn't laid any yet. The usual top view of this nest is unavailable because the restaurant is closed.

The Coot building the desperately unsuccessful nest in the dead willow near the Italian Garden seemed to be making slight progress a few days ago, but the twigs have floated away again.

The Mute Swans nesting beside one of the small boathouses seem to have given up. A Moorhen looked lost in the middle of this large pile of branches.

We didn't know where the female Egyptian Goose near Henry Moore was nesting until the male gave the game away by calling to her, and she answered from a dead tree.

The pair at the Round Pond have lost a gosling and are down to five.

The pair on the Serpentine are still holding on to their last one.

A Hairy-Footed Flower Bee visited a herbaceous border in the Rose Garden.

Tinúviel forwarded an interesting picture from a wildlife rescue centre in Cáceres run by AMUS (Acción por el Mundo Salvaje). Rescued young Swifts climb a vertical sheet of ripped corrugated cardboard provided as gym equipment for them to develop their muscles before they are released.

Young Swifts in the nest naturally do press-ups on their wings to strengthen them: once they take off they literally will not land till the following year, even sleeping on the wing in a long glide from altitude.


  1. AMUS are excellent people.

    I have always thought that there was nothing even remotely human about a swift's expression. They are utterly alien to our concerns as earthbound creatures.

    Herons are truly good at social distancing.

    Pretty Thrush chicks! Hope they'll grow up as strong and beautiful as their parents.

    1. The Mistle Thrush parents are good guardians, and if a Magpie comes near it will be mercilessly harried. But I wish they had chosen a horse chestnut, now in full leaf, instead of a sweet chestnut which is still bare.

  2. Great shots of the Mistle Thrush feeding young & of course the Little Owl who must be enjoying this weather, though harder to get earthworms now, though maybe more beetles + spiders?

    1. We never see the Little Owls hunting on the ground here. You'd have to be in before dawn. In Richmond Park, where there is less threat from people and dogs, they are sometimes seen on the ground in the daytime.