Thursday 30 April 2020

On the Lido jetty, an adult Pied Wagtail was repeatedly buzzed by one of its two young until it flew off to fetch some more insects.

Mark Williams reports that a pair of Grey Wagtails at Clapton Pond are feeding young ones.

We have at least three Grey Wagtails here, and with luck we should see the same soon.

A Carrion Crow was eating a Feral Pigeon which I think had been killed by a Sparrowhawk that was soon frightened off the kill, because it was more or less complete apart from its head. Crows can eat pigeons more easily than the famous gull because they have strong grasping feet and can hold their meal steady while pecking it.

Another crow was eating rice in the Diana fountain enclosure. But there has been an almost complete cessation of people coming to the park and dumping unsuitable food on the birds.

This is one of the Jays that comes to take peanuts from my hand. It chatters from a tree to get my attention.

The pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull had found another large dead fish. Perhaps these fish are dying of exhaustion after spawning.

Young Herring Gulls quarrelled over a bit of food.

The injured Grey Heron in the Dell was looking less miserable than recently, and standing up and flying around.

A pair of Great Crested Grebes displayed at the island.

The single Coot chick on the Long Water was being fed by both its parents at once.

The Coot that was starting a nest in a pedalo yesterday has made rapid progress.

With all the pedalos unused and untended, it seems strange that this Coot has built a futile and unusable nest on the edge of the lake.

The Egyptian Goose with seven goslings was sheltering them from the wind and drizzle.

Sad to say, the single Egyptian gosling on the Long Water is dead. But the older one on the Serpentine is soldiering on.

Duncan Campbell reports that the Egyptians at Marble Arch still have nine goslings, which were happily using the wooden ramp provided for them. This was made by the man who looks after the garden on the traffic island, whose name is Rennie or René.

The Red-Crested Pochard with the Mallard mate was alone again today. Probably she's nesting somewhere. We might see some hybrid ducklings, though she has to survive the attention of the foxes and they have to dodge the gulls.


  1. Hi Ralph, that is sad news about the single gosling on the Long Water. I was just wondering if you had a chance to have a look at the long tailed tit nest in the Rose Garden that was destroyed yesterday and if you had any clue about what may have caused it's demise? Thanks for your wonderful blog-it is helping keep me sane among this Covid19 madness.

    1. The Long-Tailed Tits' nest has been attacked from below, almost certainly by rats. There's still a nest in the Rose Garden, invisible in a broom bush.

  2. Sad news again - poor gosling. Although on the other hand I am so glad that the Heron appears to have a chance to go on.

    Remarkable progress on the Coots' nest on the pedalo. Admirable persistence.The vivid shade of blue was also a factor in the Coots' decision to build a nest there, surely.

    1. I think the Coot made its nest next to the chromium plated tiller because it wanted a shiny sculpture as a nest ornament.

    2. The plastic blue makes a fetching backdrop to a stylish black & white bird.

    3. The pedalos create a surreal artificial landscape.

    4. Yes. Makes for good photos, though.

  3. Looking at your Grey Wagtail photo I get the feeling that is an advanced juvenile bird. I did manage to see 2 birds on different parts of the Brent yesterday, so hopefully 2 pairs present. Sad about the gosling.

    1. Mark sent pictures of two young Grey Wagtails. The other one looks older, almost adult but still slghtly fluffy and short tailed. They must have started early.