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.


  1. Heron chicks grow up real fast. We have a nice (wild) heronry at our localzoo, I can see the nests from a hill. Two years ago I went there every week, the growth rate of these chicks is unreal. From a small furball to rebellious punks in no time. They even managed two clutches of 4-5.

    1. It shows the benefit of a diet of regurgitated fish. Maybe we should all adopt it.

  2. Romans conquered the world on a diet of garum, which was as stinky and disgusting as regurgitated fish. Perhaps there is a method to this madness.

    I wonder if the Black Swan is aware of its sex. Does it ever follow female mute swans around?

    Brave Coot, chasing a Herring Gull away!

    1. No one is sure about the stinkiness of garum. The more expensive varieties quite likely resembled the fish sauces of Southeast Asia, which are predominantly salty and usually not very fishy. But the cheaper stuff, allec, seems to have been pretty smelly.

      It seems quite likely that the Black Swan, which is still young, is confused. Jorgen thinks it's male on the grounds of its size. It does seem to follow males all or most of the time.