Wednesday, 24 March 2021

A Canada Goose had got trapped in one of the wire baskets surrounding the island. Hugh Smith the Wildlife Officer came to the rescue within minutes, rowed by one of the staff of Bluebird Boats who was luckily on hand. But the story has an unhappy end, for the goose was badly injured and almost drowned, and couldn't be saved.

The dominant male Mute Swan on the Long Water graciously deigned to sit on the island which has been made specially for him and his mate.

The Black Swan was with its male friend on the gravel surrounding the new children's pond. I'm increasingly convinced that the Black Swan is female, even if she is unusually large.

The Mute Swans nesting at the east end of the Serpentine are trashing more and more of the reeds with their unstoppable nest building. They shouldn't have got in, but it's quite easy for these heavy birds to trample down the netting.

Coots can't stop building nests either. A pair laid twigs in a completely unsuitable place on the edge of the Serpentine.

Two pairs of Coots at the island passed the time by fighting. It's mainly the males that fight, while their mates cheer them on and occasionally join in.

The Egyptian Geese at the Henry Moore sculpture still have seven goslings ...

... and the ones just the other side of the bridge still have six ...

... but the pair near the Lido are down to their last one. 

The female Peregrine was back on the barracks tower after several weeks' absence.

A Greenfinch sang from a treetop near the Italian Garden.

A Long-Tailed Tit was gathering moss in a tree on the west side of the Long Water.

But this must be for a different nest from the one on the other side, where shortly afterwards I saw the pair flying in and out.

That brings the number of known nests up to five, but unfortunately none of them are visible this year.

A Chiffchaff in a tree near the Dell caught a midge.

One of the Mistle Thrushes that nest at the Albert Memorial found a worm and spent a while pecking at it before swallowing it. Was it playing with the worm, like a cat would with a mouse?

If you see a group of Rose-Ringed Parakeets on the ground they're almost always eating dandelion leaves, of which they are very fond.

Two fine pictures from Neil. One of the Coal Tits near the Albert Memorial perched in a forsythia bush.

A close-up of the bumptious Carrion Crow that bashes people on the head. I've managed to teach it that it won't get fed if it does this, but Neil is too kind to it.

A Buff-Tailed Bumblebee browsed in a Red Deadnettle flower.


  1. Spotted two rabbits close to each other by the Henry Moore statue. Maybe there is a future for them after all.

  2. Well done Hugh, even if the poor thing couldn't be saved. Are the Bluebird Boats folks back in business? I do so hope they are.

    A fine demonstration by the Coot martial school of indiscriminate grappling. It should become an Olympic sport.

    You are a better teacher, and educator, than I am. I wouldn't be able to stop rewarding problematic behaviour on account of the crow having a sense of humour.

    1. Bluebird Boats are hoping to reopen at Easter, though of course the invertebrate Boris Johnson may have some mad U-turn forced on him by his masters.

      Your pupils don't leave you bleeding profusely, or at least I hope not.