Saturday, 17 April 2021

The Chiffchaffs flitted around their nest in a bramble patch at the foot of Buck Hill.

Sébastien Mercier got a fine shot of one of them bringing nesting material.

Nearby, a Magpie dug vigorously in the grass. Probably there is an ants' nest here.

A Carrion Crow bathed in the pool at the top of the Dell waterfall and flapped out soggily to dry itself on a branch.

There are a lot of Blackcaps in the park this year and their song can be heard everywhere. This one was at the leaf yard.

Ahmet Amerikali got a picture of a Treecreeper on an oak near the leaf yard ...

... and a Long-Tailed Tit bringing insects to the nest in the euphorbia bush in the Rose Garden.

A Chaffinch foraged in a patch of wild garlic in the woodland at the foot of Buck Hill.

Another picture by Sébastien: a Sparrowhawk flying over Kensington Palace. We hope they will nest near the Old Police House again this year.

The Grey Herons often seen in the red tree on the island seem to be a pair, and apparently there is a nest out of sight in the leaves. The one on the left looks too young to be breeding but I suppose they know what they're doing.

Update: Neil tells me that the tree is a type of cherry, Prunus cerasifera nigra.

Joan Chatterley found a Great Crested Grebe with a chick in Battersea Park.

One of our four pairs of grebes is nesting on the Long Water opposite Peter Pan. No sign of eggs yet.

More grebes should arrive later for the summer nesting season -- always very late here because of the fluctuating stock of fish in the lake.

The Mute Swan nesting on the island in the Long Water was annoyed when a couple of Egyptian Geese stood on it. This is the hopeless pair from the Italian Garden who have never raised a gosling in 21 years, so they are hardly a threat.

Egyptian goslings are surprisingly good at diving and swimming under water, an ability that must quite often save them from predators.

The solitary Red-Crested Pochard drake was back in the Italian Garden ...

... with his aggressive rival a safe distance away. There was no sign of the female Mallard, and she may be nesting. It looked as if an uneasy truce had been made, but later the Pochard was at the Vista, so evidently he was chased away again.

The sunshine brought out the colours of a Mandarin drake. There are two here and no females, so evidently these are nesting in nearby tree holes.

Tom got another good picture of a weasel on the river wall at Rainham Marshes.


  1. Yay, first stripey head!

    Always rewarding to watch the restless comings and goings of Chiffchaffs. They are always doing something interesting, and one never tires from watching them.

    1. This is the first time I've known where their nest was.