Wednesday, 28 April 2021

A chilly day with a keen wind made the eight little Egyptians huddle together for warmth.

Another brood sheltered under their mother's wings.

A pair with goslings at risk from Herring Gulls considered that attack is the best form of defence.

The blond goslings are getting their first adult feathers.

Sad to say, the Greylags have lost two of their three.

Malachi the gardener told me that he has seen a pair of Canadas with two goslings, but I couldn't find them today.

He also saw a Yellow Wagtail, a rarity in the park. It was near the Dell but flew off in the direction of the Parade Ground, so it may not have stayed.

A pair of Grey Wagtails looked for insects on the shore at the Lido restaurant. I've seen them here collecting insects to take to a nest.

And it really is a pair -- the two I saw a few days ago were both female. Here is a closer shot of the male, showing his distinctive black bib.

This Pied Wagtail is also male, with a black back while the female has a grey back. They spend a lot of time looking for food on the tarmac. Heaven knows what tiny creatures they find here.

The first House Martins have arrived on the lake. They haven't yet visited their nesting site at the Kuwaiti embassy.

A Blackbird looked out from a blossoming tree beside the Long Water.

One of the Mistle Thrushes at the Albert Memorial was out on the grass.

Wrens were singing in several places beside the Long Water.

A Wood Pigeon ate the new shoots of a red-leafed cherry tree.

A Magpie prospected for scraps in a bin beside the Serpentine. When Carrion Crows do this they haul the rubbish out on to the ground for further examination, but they are bigger and stronger than Magpies.

This pair of Lesser Black-Backed Gulls is often seen in the Diana fountain.

Tom got a shot of a Mandarins mating on the Round Pond. At the moment I think there are one pair here and one on the Serpentine, but it's not clear whether they are nesting.

Update: Neil found a Pied Flycatcher in a tall lime tree just to the north of the leaf yard, and got a good shot of it.


  1. No Flycatchers of any kind reported yet this year on the London Bird Club Wiki.

    Those Egyptians didn't seem too alarmed about the gulls, the female didn't call the youngsters in. Jim

    1. Reminded of Dr Johnson telling Boswell of how, when he was an undergraduate at Oxford, he had failed to turn up for a tutorial and later told his tutor that he had been sliding on the ice in Christ Church Meadow.
      Boswell: 'Sir, that showed great fortitude of mind.'
      Johnson: 'No sir, stark insensibility.'

  2. Congratulations on the first House Martins, and the Swifts from the other day!

    I imagine those Gulls must not have been very hungry. They were distressingly close to the goslings.

    I was more worried about the preservation of hte Magpie's tail than the bird itself was!

    1. House Martins and Swifts have taken their time arriving this year, especially considering how long ago you saw them in Spain. They have really dawdled their way north, I suppose slowed down by the recent cold weather. Swallows have also been seen in London, but not yet by me.

  3. I've still never managed to see a Pied Flycatcher in London. They do turn up every passage season & last autumn produced a few. Good record for the park.

    I do wonder if the Yellow Wagtail reported by the gardener was in fact a Grey Wagtail? People often mix them up as Grey shows a lot of yellow. The Dell seems an unlikely habitat for Yellow, but fine for Grey.

    1. I'm sure Malachi wouldn't have made that mistake. He is a serious birdwatcher.