Sunday 28 February 2021

The Grey Heron chick is growing fast and now showing well above the edge of the nest.

A parent arrived, the pair had a display, and the chick was fed with regurgitated fish, a delicious treat for a baby heron.

The Mute Swans on the Long Water are still taking no notice of the nesting island which has been repaired for them. The male obstinately sat in a reed bed on the other side of the lake.

A pair of swans tries to nest at the boathouse every year, thinking that the railings are a protection. But dogs and foxes can easily get around the end, so it's just as well that the nest never gets far.

As usual the Black Swan was stalking a male Mute Swan ...

... which lost its patience and shooed it away.

Although there are ten Red-Crested Pochards on the Long Water, there is only one female. She is a magnet for the drakes. Most ducks have a badly skewed sex ratio, as they nest on the ground and sitting females fall victim to foxes and other predators.

The Red-Crested Pochard with a Mallard mate ignored the visitors, preferring the company of its trio.

A pair of Great Crested Grebes displayed on the Serpentine. They haven't yet worked themselves up to the stage where they do their dance, but this should happen soon.

Coots are making a nest on the netting around the reed bed to the east of the Lido. This happens every year, and a hole has been cut on the netting to allow the Coots to build safely inside. But they always ignore this and build the nest on the outside of the net, at risk from gulls and boats.

The Coots nesting on the post are oddly meek about the Black-Headed Gulls that tear the nest to pieces, looking for insects. They simply bring more nesting material.

But the Coots on the nest a few yards away fiercely defends their territory. One chased off a Herring Gull.

A Dunnock foraged in a flower bed at the terrace of the Lido restaurant, ignoring the Sunday visitors. There have been Dunnocks here for years and they are used to humans milling around.

The Long-Tailed Tits in the Rose Garden were busy making their nest.

A Blue Tit near the bridge was expecting to be fed. It won't come to my hand but will take food from the ground.

Saturday 27 February 2021

There was the first reasonably clear sight of the Grey Heron chick. A parent stood over it protectively.

Great Crested Grebes don't only eat fish. Any small aquatic creature is welcome. This grebe was probably looking for snails on the reed stems.

Another Coot nest is going up in the reeds on the east side of the Long Water. This is quite a good place as long as the Coots leave some reed stems standing to deter gulls from swooping on the nest.

Canada Geese bickered over possession of the Mute Swans' nesting island. Probably a pair will try to nest here, but will get chased off by the swans as soon as they need the site.

There was enough of a breeze to tempt swans to fly down the Serpentine.

Red-Crested Pochards arrive at random from the other London parks. Today there were ten on the Long Water -- nine at the Vista including the usual Gang of Five, and the familiar drake who has a Mallard mate and is here all the time, and who appears in the last scene.

A Magpie sunbathed in the Rose Garden ..,

... and a Dunnock sang quietly in a bush.

The Long-Tailed Tits were busy making their nest in the euonymus bush.

A Robin sang in a tree in the Dell.

A Rose-Ringed Parakeet ate blossom beside the Serpentine.

A mild sunny Saturday brought plenty of visitors to the Lido restaurant, and Starlings waited around the terrace for their chance to grab some scraps.

Neil found a Redwing eating a worm near the leaf yard. There was a small flock in the area a month ago, so there may be more.

The first sight of a Peacock butterfly this year in the Rose Garden.

On the same bush there was also a Tapered Dronefly, Eristalis pertinax.

Friday 26 February 2021

A Robin sang in a corkscrew hazel bush near the Albert Memorial. Many small birds seem to like the twisty twigs of this species.

The Long-Tailed Tits were busy building their nest in the euonymus bush in the Rose Garden.

There is another Long-Tailed Tit nest under construction in a bush at the east end of the Lido, I'm not sure exactly where yet.

A Blue Tit perched above the nut feeder in the Dell.

A fine portrait by Neil of the Blue Tit near the Vista which expects to be fed by all passers by.

This Jackdaw at the Vista was also expecting an offering.

Ahmet Amerikali found a female Great Spotted Woodpecker near the leaf yard.

Two Rose-Ringed Parakeets had a dispute about a nest hole.

The Grey Heron in the nest at the west end of the island was looking down into the nest. Perhaps the eggs are beginning to hatch.

On the south side of the island a heron was ignoring one of the baskets put up for them. The herons in Regent's Park understand that a basket makes a good base for a nest, but our herons have yet to learn this and persist in making their own from scratch, a considerable labour.

Two pairs of Coots fought on the Serpentine, with two opponents face to face and the others chasing each other. There was a win when one Coot held another under water, so that the loser had to submit and be chased off. Thanks to Duncan Campbell for this video.

Coots were building a nest apparently in the middle of the Long Water. In fact there is a submerged fallen poplar tree here with a branch sticking up almost to the surface to which a nest can be attached.

These Red-Crested Pochards, four drakes and a female, have been visiting the park at intervals for several years. Today they were at the Vista.

A good picture by Neil of the solitary Common Pochard drake that hangs around on the east side of the bridge.

A Mallard drake enjoyed a vigorous wash and flap at the Lido.

An Egyptian Goose carefully cropped the grass at the edge of the Henry Moore sculpture. If you have geese you don't need a lawn mower or a strimmer, and as a bonus they fertilise the soil.

Thursday 25 February 2021

 A Dunnock sang beside the Long Water. Usually they are shy birds, and it's most unusual to be able to get so close to one.

There were several Greenfinches a few yards away.

This is the pair of Long-Tailed Tits in the Rose Garden that are starting a nest in the euonymus bush you can see at the end of this clip. The leaves are too dense for the nest to be seen, but there are plenty of views of them flying around. The bird in the climbing rose was looking for cobwebs.

A pair of Jackdaws were making a racket around a hole in a plane tree in the Dell, where evidently they are planning to nest.

It's unusual to see a Carrion Crow with a ring. I reported the number to the BTO, just to see who is bothering to ring crows.

Both the Peregrines were on the tower. They have been here on most days recently, rather than their other daytime place on the Metropole Hilton hotel.

The Grey Herons' nest with the chick in it is now surrounded by blossom. I didn't get a sight of the chick.

The pigeon-eating Lesser Black-backed Gull is looking smarter than ever. His legs are now orange rather than yellow, the most intense colour I've ever seen on one of the species.

A young Herring Gull was poking busily into the space between plastic buoys at the Lido. It may have been trying to unpick the rope.

As soon as the Coots leave the nest on the post at Peter Pan, one or another Black-Headed Gull swims over and starts probing it for insects.

The pair of Great Crested Grebes were still hanging around the Coot nest under the willow by the bridge.

A pair of Mute Swans started to build a nest on the Serpentine island, pulling twigs and bits of debris into a rough heap.

The male Mute Swan that is being pursued by the Black Swan seemed to be on quite civil terms with it today -- easier than having to keep swimming away with this relentless creature following.

The repaired swan island in the Long Water had Canada Geese on it ...

... then a variety of birds -- everything except the swans, which so far are showing no interest in it at all.

Wednesday 24 February 2021

For several days I've been trying to get a decent video of the Grey Heron chick on the island. This, though still not good, is the best I've managed so far.

A smaller nest among the herons' nests turned out to belong to a Magpie.

A heron fished in water as deep as it could stand in near the outflow of the Serpentine. It made two lunges, but I'm not sure it caught anything.

The swan island in the Long Water is finished, and there's a generous sized gravel bank for the dominant Mute Swan and his mate to bring twigs to. So far they haven't shown any interest in it, but other birds have including the hopeless pair of Egyptian Geese. A Cormorant climbed onshore, scaring a Herring Gull.

The Black Swan was on the Serpentine preening its wings.

There was one Peregrine on the tower, eating something. As I approached to photograph it, still 200 yards away, the other arrived and tried to get a share of what you can just see is a Feral Pigeon. I think the bird on the left, which had the pigeon, is the female, although the fact that you can only see part of it makes it look smaller.

There was a brief squabble and she shooed the male away. He flew off and she went to the back of the ledge, out of sight, to finish her pigeon.

A Wood Pigeon was peacefully occupied in eating blossom.

One of the elusive Nuthatches, a male, was singing in a tree near the leaf yard. He flew into the old oak behind the railings, where I've often photographed Nuthatches before.

Greenfinches were flying around the shrubbery at the southwest corner of the bridge.

While I was trying to get a picture, a Long-Tailed Tit showed up and posed prettily on a twig.

I didn't find any Goldfinches in the park but they are often heard in the streets. Both they and Greenfinches like to perch on television aerials.

Two fine spring pictures by Neil. By feeding the tame Coal Tit near the Albert Memorial he managed to lure it into a camellia.

A Carrion Crow foraged among crocuses.

This is the first butterfly I've seen this year. Brimstones are always the earliest to appear in the park. Males are bright yellow, females white. They are restless and hardly ever stop for a still picture, so this video is the best I can do.