Sunday 12 April 2020

The young Mistle Thrushes are now quite large. Virginia got a fine picture of one of them flapping well developed wings.

I went to the dead tree near the Speke obelisk looking for the nesting Treecreepers, and didn't find them. But the Long-Tailed Tits nesting in the brambles came out ...

... and so did a Chiffchaff ...

... and a Wren sang from a twig.

At the leaf yard a Great Tit picked delicately at a pine nut I gave it. It took three, one after the other.

A pair looked for insects in the dead tree near the bridge. They are probably nesting in one of its many holes.

A Goldcrest collected a spider's web from the stonework of the bridge to add to its nest.

Near the Italian Garden a Great Spotted Woodpecker probed a branch, looking for insects.

There was a Little Owl again in the alder near the Henry Moore sculpture.

A Rose-Ringed Parakeet drank at the edge of the Serpentine.

A Grey Heron inspected the brambles near the Italian Garden. From this position it can catch a fish or a rat, whichever shows up first.

The Coots nesting at the Dell restaurant have added a woolly hat to their soft furnishings.

Someone thought that this Mute Swan might like to eat some flowers. They were wrong.

A pair of swans on the Long Water displayed to each other and mated. The initial display, in which they mirror each other's movements, may take ten minutes, and only the last few seconds is shown here.

This may be the same pair that were building a nest earlier on the gravel bank at the Vista. They are not the dominant pair here, so there's going to be trouble -- especially as this is quite a good nest site, with a strip of water separating it from the shore that will discourage, if not stop, foxes.

Next to them, the Egyptian Geese guarded their two goslings. They are still having trouble with Carrion Crows.

A peculiar piebald Greylag has appeared on the Serpentine. It has one brown wing ...

... and one white one.


  1. I had a quick look at Kensington Gardens. At the Italian Garden, there was a Mute Swan in one of the pools. Over at the Round Pond, the Black Swan was snoozing on the shore. There were a pair of Great Crested Grebes fishing in the Pond. The female Egyptian Goose was brooding the pair’s goslings. I couldn’t see how many there were but someone said they had seen five.

    1. Mute Swans can get out of the Italian Garden with surprising ease.

      There were still five little Egyptians on the Round Pond when I was there.

  2. Geese variations are incredible. Any colour they can be, they are.

    The swan looks startled. Or maybe disappointed.

    Maybe the Coots will make a comfy sofa out of the woolen hat.

    1. I think that Greylag was a natural variation and not a cross with a domestic goose, as it was a normal size and crosses tend to be bulky. We had a female West of England Goose, a domestic breed, on the Round Pond a few years ago, and its white and grey pattern was different from this.

  3. Here's a bit of bright news: somewhat appropriately for Easter, after three days the injured heron has turned out not to be dead but very much alive, having re-appeared in the Dell on 13 April, balancing on the rock at the edge of the waterfall.

    1. Yes, I saw it today in the Dell, sitting down and looking very miserable and weak. I don't think it's been eating. Hugh knows about it, but it's impossible to catch while it can still fly.

  4. Just want to say how sustaining it is to catch up with the birds each day on your blog since my county, as well as several neighboring counties in northern California, has closed all our parks, citing a "small but persistent minority" of visitors who did not follow social distancing guidelines. I hope the London parks stay open. Thank you!

    1. Thank you. I'm sorry your parks have been shut. They really are necessary to preserve one's sanity. I'm just hoping that ours will stay open. In an encouraging move here, some of the parks that were closed have now been reopened after protests.