Saturday, 20 March 2021

There is another brood of Egyptian goslings, this time on the north shore of the Serpentine near the bridge. The father is blond and so are three of the six goslings. Their mother is looking after them attentively, but this is an exposed place and the pair haven't done well in past years.

It was a cold day and the goslings huddled under their mother to keep warm.

This is the pair of Mute Swans which last year nested in a reed bed east of the Lido and, against the odds in this exposed place, successfully raised two cygnets. The male is extremely fierce and killed another male which got too near his family.

A Coot made a nest between two wire baskets on the island ...

... while its mate repelled a pair which had intruded on their territory.

The Grey Herons that have returned to the nest at the west end of the island now seem firmly established and it looks as if they are going to have another try at breeding.

A heron on the roof of the Dell restaurant was disturbed by a Carrion Crow landing next to it, and soon flew away. The crow has a ring, FJ10039, and therefore a history known to humans. It's a female hatched in 2018 and ringed in Regent's Park in October of that year by Bill Haines.

Herons are not the only creatures that find the dark gaze of a crow intimidating.

Returning to the subject of rings, the Black-Headed Gull with ring EP24131 that I saw here on the 12th was ringed in November 2002 in St James's Park, ringer's name not given. It was at least two years old then, so it's at least 20 now. That's only middle aged for a Black-Headed Gull, as they routinely live to over 30.

A very old and tatty Common Gull perched on the marble fountain in the Italian Garden. It hasn't migrated away with the other Common Gulls, which have now all left the park. It took off and flew down the lake without difficulty.

One of the Long-Tailed Tits nesting near the Italian Garden brought in a bit of bundled-up spider web to add to the nest.

As usual, while I was waiting for this picture two Blue Tits ...

... and a Great Tit flew up to be fed.

A Coal Tit found a larva in a tree in the Dell. I got this picture ...

... while I was trying to photograph a Goldcrest dashing about in in a yew tree near the top path. All I could manage was this poor quality image, but it does show the bird in flight.

A Pied Wagtail, one of four in the Diana fountain enclosure, caught a midge.

Tom was at Rainham Marshes and got a picture of a Spoonbill.


  1. "Nevermore". A crow, not a raven, but the sentiment is the same.

    Do female Coots fight with as much enthusiasm as males do, I wonder?

    It's a miracle that the female swan doesn't end up drowned.

    1. You can never be sure whether a Coot is male or female, but there is a pattern to four-Coot fights. Two (presumed males) attack each other and fight strongly, while two (presumed females) circle the fight, sporadically attacking and chasing each other. So sometimes you see all four fighting, but not the whole time.