Friday 10 April 2020

One of the Mistle Thrush parents in Kensington Gardens collected worms on the ground ...

... before flying up into the chestnut tree to feed the nestlings.

Another Mistle Thrush in the Dell was also hunting busily. The pair here had to nest three times last year before the successfully raised one chick.

A Pied Wagtail hunted insects under the trees beside the Serpentine. The grass is scanty and cropped short by geese, so it doesn't hinder the bird from sprinting around.

A Long-Tailed Tit perched on a twig near the Speke obelisk.

As I arrived at the Henry Moore sculpture, the female Little Owl emerged from her hole and flew into an alder tree.

The young Grey Herons on the island have started climbing around the nest, and will soon be out on the branches beside it. They can't fly yet and it looks dangerous, but it's a necessary step towards independence.

I fear that the injured heron in the Dell has died. I haven't seen it for three days. With the brisk practicality of birds, another heron has taken its territory. Here it is on the edge of the Dell restaurant terrace.

One Cormorant has returned to the Long Water. It was fishing briskly but didn't catch anything in the ten minutes I was watching it. The earlier Cormorants have left no fish large enough to interest them, as they do every winter.

Two pairs of Coots were fighting at the Dell restaurant. I think the males fight while the females look on and sometimes join in, but I really don't know.

A Moorhen drank under an inactive fountain in the Italian Garden. Both Moorhens and Coots have tried to nest in the space under these fountains, but nests have failed because there is nothing here to attach them to, just the smooth walls and an iron pipe in the centre.

The Black Swan reclined elegantly on the edge of the Round Pond.

The Egyptian family here still have five goslings.

The lone gosling on the Serpentine is still alive, but the pair on the Long Water have lost one and are down to two.

I have no idea what this long-legged insect is in the border in the Rose Garden. It vibrated its wings constantly even when it was standing on a flower.

Update: it's a Dark-Edged Bee-Fly, Bombylius major. Thanks to Jim for the identification.

Paul sent some fine pictures of a male Kestrel ...

... and a female, both in Richmond Park.


  1. The insect is a bee-fly Bombylius. This spring these seem to be unusually numerous, across the country.

    Was that probably the heron freed from the net that's gone? That's sad. Jim

    1. Thanks for the identification. Will update the blog.

      Yes, I believe that was the heron that was freed from the net. What an unlucky bird.

  2. Poor Heron :-( There has to be a bird heaven in which unlucky birds get to be happy and thrive.

    That is a fine flying kick the Coot is giving. Major props to both form and technique.

    Pretty Long Tailed Tit! How is the nest doing?

    1. The Long-Tailed Tits' nest seems to be fine, but I haven't seen anything definite since I got that lucky picture of the sitting bird looking out. However, every time I look at it, the feather lining looks different, surely a sign of continued occupation.