Wednesday 10 March 2021

It was a cold windy day with frequent drizzle and rain. The weather kept people out of the park and left the way clear for a little flock of eight Pied Wagtails to look for insects on the grass beside the Serpentine. They spread out widely as they hunt, so you can never get all of them into the frame.

A Blue Tit near the Dell was in a small tree examining the leaf buds.

It extracted an insect from one.

Beside the Long Water a Long-Tailed Tit was on the ground, where they usually only go when looking for feathers to line their nests.

Overhead some Goldfinches twittered in the treetops.

A Dunnock perched on a twig ...

... and there was another in the Rose Garden.

A Robin looked for food under a bench.

Outside the gate a female Blackbird was foraging.

The Coots' nest in the middle of the Long Water has at least two eggs in it.

Some other Coots fought at Peter Pan.

The Egyptian Geese seem to be settled in their stolen Grey Heron nest on the island.

A pair of Mute Swans made a nest in the reed bed near the Diana fountain. 'Making' is perhaps the wrong word since they tear down everything within reach, leaving the nest pointlessly exposed.

Mandarins have been scarce this year, but today a pair turned up at the Vista. Most of the population in this area live and breed on the Regent's Canal where there is plenty of cover and Herring Gulls are less of a problem.


  1. Mandarin females and gadwalls are the most beautiful ducks of all, to my eyes.

    I wonder why swans tear everything down within reach. There must be some advantages to such destructive nest-building technique, right?

    What a beautiful Blue Tit!

    1. No, I don't think there are any advantages to swans' nest building methods. I think they are so big that they can ignore evolutionary pressures. Rather like us, though they are less savage.

  2. Exquisite Mandarin. I usually see 2 or 3 pairs on the couple of days I work by Richmond sitting on the river where there's usually a large group of Egyptian Geese (more plentiful than the Canada Geese).

    Always good to see the feeding flocks of Pied Wagtail. In my local country park there's one area with sports turf & I sometimes see just under 30 of them feeding like this.

    It was a thoroughly miserable day to be outside as I was myself. Today it's the turn of the winds!

    1. The best place for Mandarins I know is the pond in the Isabella Plantation in Richmond Park. At this time there is a lot of displaying and chasing.

      The place where I filmed the Pied Wagtails was laid with sports turf after the 2012 Olympics. The stuff seems to attract insects and worms.