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.


  1. The first butterfly is a good sign that the weather has finally turned for the better, I hope!

    It's hard to believe that such a tiny dishevelled punky-haired little creature will grow into a stately and elegant Heron.

    I think the small birds have learned to pose in fetching frames to their advantage. Looking pretty will get them pinenuts and peanuts!

    1. Well, I take many pictures and choose the one where they're posing best, so really I'm cheating.

  2. Good to see the Peregrines in action. Do they breed here or another high rise building?

    Nice to see you've found a Nuthatch again- they are great characters.

    Haven't seen any butterflies yet though have seen lots of people reporting Brimstones as well as the odd Peacock & Comma too. Probably not good enough weather today but maybe tomorrow for me?

    1. They don't seem to have managed to breed anywhere yet. I think they might have tried, and failed, on the Trellick Tower. I have seen them mating on the ledge of the barracks, and believe they would nest here if someone put a box or even a tray on the ledge for them, but we have the army to contend with.

      By the way, the ledge is not immediately above inhabited rooms, so noise would not be an issue. The peculiar box structure on which they sit houses squash courts, which is why it has so few windows.

  3. It's not completely unheard of for peregrines to succeed in breeding without human intervention - one pair further east fledged young two years in succession from a ledge that had neither box or tray set up. (Ironically they changed to another building where a tray had been placed - but despite this, have failed the last two years.) A lot depends on whether enough debris has built up for the female to make a scrape which holds the eggs together. Of course if the chosen building has a gravel roof, like in Sutton, they're in luck, but neither the Metropole or HPB have one. No doubt their chances are much improved by the provision of a suitable nesting surface. A gravel-filled tray is all that's needed - what's much harder to obtain is the goodwill of the site managers.

    1. Try speaking softly to the army.

    2. Has someone actually asked?.

    3. I've talked to the officer in charge of the barracks, and written to the London Peregrine Trust.

    4. I would try writing to either army hq at Andover or the defence infrastructure organisation.