Friday 24 April 2020

A group of oak trees near the leaf yard has a big bramble patch around its base, a perfect spot for Blackcaps and there are half a dozen of them. They will be nesting in the brambles. A male gave me a suspicious stare.

Two are singing here, and a third can be heard answering.

A Long-Tailed Tit brought a large green caterpillar and assorted insects to the nest in the Rose Garden.

The flower beds in the Flower Walk had just been watered, bringing out Blackbirds to look for worms in the wet soil.

The Little Owl in the alder tree on Buck Hill was awake for a change.

Three Grey Wagtails were flying around the Long Water, occasionally perching on the posts surrounding the swan island. They are now often seen in this area, and it looks as if a pair are going to nest here rather than in the usual place beside the Dell waterfall.

A Coot was in temporary occupation of the Mute Swans' nest. The swans will of course turf them out as soon as the female starts incubating her eggs.

Every year this pair of Coots build a nest against the same post at Peter Pan. They now have eggs. But the Herring Gulls are waiting on the posts, and any chicks will be eaten at once. The Coots never learn from this inevitable disaster.

The four Egyptian goslings were trotting along the edge of the Round Pond, followed by their anxious mother.

The pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull was drinking in his usual place at the Dell restaurant. He is having to work harder for his pigeons, as the number in the park has gone right down. So has the number of gulls and of other species that depend partly on humans for feeding.

Drinking is a more complicated procedure for the Black Swan on the Round Pond ...

... involving bending its long neck in two directions at once.

A Moorhen and a Mallard preened on a switched-off fountain in the Italian Garden.

A Small White butterfly perched on a blue flower in the Rose Garden.


  1. That's a remarkable feat of contortionism.

    Sometimes I despair of Coots.

    Where have the gulls gone?

    1. I think the gulls have gone to the river, a more natural home for them. They can travel long distances by rising on thermals, and may have gone far down the estuary where there are plenty of mudflats full of edible creatures. Heaven knows where most of the parakeets have gone -- no one yet knows much about the movements of these relatively new invaders.