Monday, 12 April 2021

Hugh Smith the Wildlife Officer found a Tawny Owl near the Ranger's Lodge garden. Although it was almost dark he managed to get a brief video on his smartphone of it hooting.

The three Egyptian goslings on the Serpentine cuddled up to their mother.

Oddly, she was with another goose that was not her mate. He is feeling a bit down after being attacked by a dog. He can walk all right and will recover, but clearly his injuries hurt and he was sitting some distance away.

The four Egyptian goslings on the Long Water came ashore among some rather wilted daffodils. The flowers are older than they are.

The Black Swan was mating again with her new Mute mate. She has been seen making a nest on the shore of the Long Water, but doesn't seem to be settled down at the moment.

The swans nesting in a dangerous place at the Lido restaurant had four eggs yesterday. Thanks to Leona Tan for this picture.

The Pochard x Tufted Duck hybrid was at the Vista again, having a preen. Its head is darker than that of a normal Pochard and it has a slight trace of a tuft. Its eye is more orange than a Pochard's bright red, and its wing coverts are darker.

There was also a Mandarin drake.

A Great Crested Grebe is nesting on the Long Water.

The odd couple of a Herring Gull and a Lesser Black-Backed Gull moaned affectionately at each other. The display annoyed a Coot, which attacked them twice.

The pigeon-eating gull nodded upwards to his mate. It looks to a human eye as if he's in a huff, but in fact it's a gesture of affection.

A Grey Heron did a pinpoint landing on a branch of the fallen horse chestnut tree in the Long Water.

Another poked into an urn at the Italian Garden. I think it was drinking. The urns are almost solid stone with just a shallow depression in the top, and their drain holes got blocked up years ago, so they fill with rainwater.

A male Pied Wagtail ran around on the tarmac path at the edge of the Round Pond. It it wasn't just picking up grit. They seem to be able to find small creatures in this unpromising place.

A female hunted in the new grass beside the Serpentine. This is getting a bit long now for them to be able to run around easily.

Tom was at Rainham Marshes, and got a fine picture of a Ring Ouzel eating hawthorn fruit.

I've never seen one in the park. There was a rumour of one a few years ago, but it turned out to be a Blackbird with a white patch.


  1. What a fine observation of the Ring Ouzel! I've only seen it once in my life.

    Disconcerting Coot. It flew at the gull like that for no apparent reason.

    How are the Tawnies faring? I think I read a couple of years ago that they weren't doing too well at the time.

    Still hoping for hybrid swan babies. It'd be funny if they were painted black and white like zebras.

    1. Coots will attack anything on a whim, even swans. They are just full of fury.

      The Tawnies remain mysterious and seldom glimpsed, which is fine for them but not so good for us. Two pairs are known, one nesting in the woodland surrounding the greenhouses, the other in the northwestern corner of Kensington Gardens -- but no one knows where their nest holes are,

  2. Good that there is evidence of the continuing presence of Tawny Owl in the park. It used to be my go-to place to get my Tawny Owl fix. Not a rare bird, but difficult to see unless at a known roost site.

    Lucky Tom with the smart Ring Ouzel. I did have one on my patch last spring.
    Exquisite Mandarin shot & loving the LBB Gull posing.


    1. There is a terrible owl famine in the park at this time. Just fleeting calls from Tawny and Little Owls, and still no place found where they might be seen at least sometimes. I haven't seen an owl since the magical view of the Short-Eared Owls in Gunpowder Park on 8 December last year.

  3. That's a shame, Ralph. I didn't realise you weren't seeing the Little Owls either.

    1. Well, I hope the newly found Little Owl will be visible at least occasionally.