Tuesday, 6 April 2021

The Mistle Thrushes nesting at the Round Pond are quite used to people, and will come close if you stand still.

A Carrion Crow came near their nest. A thrush rattled angrily and swooped low over its head. The crow was quite intimidated and went round the back of a tree to avoid further attack.

Crows mobbed a Sparrowhawk above the Serpentine. They didn't get the upper hand here either, as the agile hawk effortlessly avoided them.

Neil saw a Red Kite circling high over the same area, the second in a few days. They are getting commoner in London.

A Coal Tit climbed around a yew tree at the top of the Dell.

A Long-Tailed Tit came out of the bush near the Diana fountain where the pair are nesting.

A Pied Wagtail sprinted through the patchy grass on the southern edge of the Serpentine.

Neil got a good shot of a Greenfinch in a holly tree north of Peter Pan, where it's often heard singing but seldom comes into view.

Jayanta Bordoloi got a fine picture of a Wren singing near the bridge ...

... and a dramatic close-up of a pair of Great Crested Grebes dancing with weed.

A Coot was building a nest on the plastic buoys surrounding the Lido swimming area. No nest here has ever succeeded, but that doesn't stop Coots from trying.

A Coot confronted the Black Swan, which had gone too near its nest.

The pair of Canada Geese at the top of the Long Water wanted to nest on the Mute Swans' island, but of course were chased off. They've settled for a nearby reed bed, not a safe place as there are foxes on the bank.

The Egyptian goslings on the edge of the Serpentine huddled against their mother in the cold wind. I could only see three, but the fourth may have been under its mother's wing.

However, the Egyptians at the Henry Moore sculpture have lost two more goslings, leaving four. I couldn't see the family at the small boathouses, and they may have been sheltering on the island.

A pair of Mandarins came ashore at the Vista.

The Red Crested Pochard drake, jilted by his Mallard mate, has been here for several days, looking rather downcast.


  1. Sometimes I wonder if birds have feelings comparable to human ones. The look on the Pochard drake is one of dejection, just like a rejected suitor.

    Mistle Thrushes' aerial defence is something to behold! Gallant birds, all heart.

    1. Swans certainly have feelings. One that has lost its mate may stop eating and die of starvation and grief.

  2. I've had the same experience with Mistle Thrushes in my local park where there are at least 2 pairs. I heard the rattling call last week & saw one of the birds chase off a Crow; more normally it's a Magpie they are attacking.

    Lovely shots of the Mandarin pair.

    Red Kites are a daily fixture where I live & is now the most commonly encountered raptor & see them daily when I'm around home. I've had as many as 6 birds over but one or two at a time is more normal. The last couple of weekends I've seen one carrying twigs into a wood a couple of miles from here where they are going to attempt nesting.

    1. I've more often seen Mistle Thrushes buzzing Magpies. But I think they'd attack anything that threatened their nest, however large.

      Maybe in a few decades we'll see Red Kites as the main scavenger in London, as they were till the 18th century.

    2. I wonder how Red Kites will fare competing with Lesser Black-backs, their nearest current analogue in London. I suspect the Kites are more energy-efficient patrollers but would they be as daring and aggressive as the gulls? Jim

    3. I would have thought that there were just as many big gulls in London 300 years ago as there were now. The city was a proper port then, so there would have been plenty of food for them even with a much smaller human population.