Thursday, 15 April 2021

The first Reed Warbler of the year in the park was singing in the reeds below the Diana fountain.

The Grey Wagtail often seen at the Lido restaurant was looking after her feathers.

The familiar Blue Tit beside the Long Water was eating a seed, for a change not one that I had given it.

A Starling rested in the grass near the Henry Moore sculpture, which was too long for it to walk about easily.

Neil reported that there is a very tame Robin in the South Flower Walk, and sent me this picture. I went there, and sure enough it appeared and took several pine nuts from my hand, although I had never had any dealings with it before.

The three young Grey Herons were milling around in the nest.

A heron only slightly older, but capable of flying, landed in the copper beech next to their tree. This is not the young heron which has been in the park since last year and I think it's only arrived today, probably from Regent's or Battersea Park.

Lizann reports that the Mute Swans nesting the east of the Lido now have five eggs. The female was dozing on the nest as usual when I passed, so I didn't see them.

There have been no further losses from the Egyptian Goose families. Here is the mother who has miraculously preserved eight goslings for days.

As readers will remember, the Red-Crested Pochard in the fountains at the Italian Garden used to be the dominant partner of a trio with a female Mallard and another Mallard drake. Then a new Mallard drake with a pale front muscled in, and after a while kicked him out. Today the new Mallard was nowhere to be seen, though there was a normally coloured one. The Red-Crested Pochard tried to restore relations with the female, but she didn't seen very keen.

Today Paul and I saw five foxes in various places. The first one was lying in long grass at the east end of the Serpentine.

The others were around the Long Water. The second was the familiar one in the hollow tree, seen across the lake from Peter Pan.

The third was in the shrubbery a few yards north of Peter Pan.

This is number four, on the new wooden platform being set up for children to go pond dipping. This video also features our one and only Black Swan.

And here is number five, at the Vista.

In other news, the reign of terror has abated sufficiently for Bluebird Boats to start up again. Naturally you make the children do the pedalling.

Tom was at Rainham Marshes, where he got a shot of a resting Spoonbill ...

... and a close-up of a Willow Warbler on the river wall.

A White Stork also went over, too high for anything more than a record shot.


  1. Apart from a brief hiss by a Mute Swan, everybody seems quite nonchalant about Fox No.4 walking among them, in broad daylight. I expect they would react differently if they had chicks nearby. How may foxes are there in the park, do you think? They're doing well in central London now, even in very built-up parts like my EC1, with not that much green space.

    1. I am sure that every clump of undergrowth in the park bigger than a tennis court has at least one fox in it. But they lie up quietly during the day, and you only see one occasionally.

  2. Oh, a Stork!! Congratulations to Tom! That must have been exciting.

    Is our Black Swan following the fox from a distance? She seems to be escorting it out of the premises.

    Very happy to see that Bluebird Boats have resumed activity. At least GB seems to be easing back into a semblance of normalcy.

    1. It's always odd to see how casual creatures are at letting predators get quite close, but filming the scene with the 1200mm lens on my video camera flattens it and makes the distance between them look smaller. I think the Black Swan and her mate just happened to be going in that direction.

      There are little patches of what looks like normal activity now, but they are just on the surface of a huge disaster whose extent has not yet become fully apparent.