Sunday 21 March 2021

A Blackbird near the Ranger's Lodge saw a worm on the surface, dashed over and grabbed it.

The Mistle Thrush pair at the Albert Memorial were out on the grass, in the roped-off area so they weren't bothered by the Sunday crowds.

A Long-Tailed Tit brought some strands of spider web to the nest near the Italian Garden. The completed nest will be the size of a large grapefruit, representing tens of thousands of journeys with webs, moss, lichen and feathers, and takes weeks to complete.

Naturally the Blue Tits came over for their usual pine nuts.

Although one of the Grey Heron nests on the south side of the island has been stolen by Egyptian Geese, the other one is still available and there was a heron in it.

Both the nests that had chicks and lost them seem to be continuously reoccupied.

I was wrong to say that all the Common Gulls had gone. There was one at Peter Pan and eight at the Lido, here with a couple of Black-Headed Gulls.

A young Herring Gull ominously perched over the Coots' nest at Peter Pan couldn't resist snatching a twig waved in front of it.

A pair of Great Crested Grebes rested together at the island.

There is a new Coot nest east of the Lido, sensibly sited inside the netting around the reed bed.

There are more Egyptian goslings on the Serpentine, but only two.

The existing brood of six has had no further losses ...

... and neither has the brood of seven at the Henry Moore sculpture.

The Black Swan was still on the Long Water, and still following a male Mute Swan around. This back view shows how swans raise their wings to bulk themselves up. The 'hand' part of the wing, with the primary feathers, stays in place and the swan raises its 'elbows', which are at the top of the vertical line of white secondary feathers in this picture.

There were also some Gadwalls here.

The wildflower patch in the Rose Garden is cleared every year and will be replanted from scratch, but it's impossible to keep the wildflowers down. There were little patches of Red Deadnettles ...

... and a Greenbottle fly perched on a Daisy.

The wildflowers at the bridge are left alone and simply come up every year. The first Cowslips have come out.


  1. There is something sublimely encouraging in the idea that no matter how many times they try to eliminate them, wildflowers will pop back up again and again.

    Extraordinarily gorgeous picture of the indefatigable Long Tailed Tit. So much endurance and perseverance in such a little body.

    Very didactic picture of the Black Swan's wings. Lovely ruffles!

    I wonder why the Gull chose to grab at the twig. Perhaps they do it out of a reflex?

    1. Naturam expellas furca, tamen usque recurret. though I wonder whether Horace ever lifted a pitchfork.

      Yes, I think a gull will instinctively grab anything waved in front of it. And they like sticks as playthings, even when found lying around rather than proffered by a Coot.

  2. I think the numbers of the smaller gulls are slowly reducing but I still had over 60 Common Gulls loafing on the sports pitch at Yeading Meadows yesterday.

    Smart drake Gadwall.

    Noticed the Cowslips in my garden are starting to flower as well now. Love this time of year. Need a change of wind direction to get my first local Wheatear-maybe the end of this week?

    1. The park is too busy for Wheatears, sadly, though they are easy to see at Rainham Marshes. The last time we got a Wheatear here was when the company returfing the Parade Ground after the hideous funfair was- working slowly, so the job dragged out into March and there was still a fenced-off area of barren ground. Later the work was done much faster and was over by Wheatear time.