Friday, 2 April 2021

The Mute Swans on the Long Water now have two eggs.

The male swan visited his mate on the nesting island. He is still struggling to clear the other swans off his territory ...

... and another pair have defied him by nesting on the opposite bank.

A pair have started making a nest in a crazy place right next to the terrace of the Lido restaurant. If they go through with it, the Wildlife Officer will screen them from humans with a plastic barrier.

All is well with the three broods of Egyptian Geese. These are the seven goslings at the Henry Moore sculpture.

The four near the bridge kept warm by huddling against their mother.

One of the eight at the boathouses preened its downy feathers.

Coots were fighting under the bridge.

A Grey Heron in the nest at the west end of the island was looking after the three chicks.

The pair from the top nest were gathering twigs.

The Mistle Thrushes at the Round Pond were busy at their nest.

A Pied Wagtail hunted under the tree.

A pair of Chaffinches is nesting in the Rose Garden. Ahmet Amerikali got a good picture of one collecting strands of spider web.

The Long-Tailed Tits near the Diana fountain were going through the bushes for nesting material.

A Robin caught a midge in the Rose Garden.

A Dunnock sang from a bramble patch beside the Long Water.

The usual Blue Tit near the Italian Garden was waiting to be fed.

Bees buzzed around in a yew tree near the bridge. I thought they were Honeybees, and probably most of them were, but Conehead 54 tells me that this is one of the early Andrena mining bees, which are solitary. The species is hard to identify from a single picture. 

As for the Honeybees, I hope the pollen isn't as poisonous as the rest of the tree, as there are now hives in the Ranger's Lodge garden.


  1. I think I heard a brief burst of song by a Cetti’s Warbler today. It was in the bushes by the Long Water where there was a regular bird a few years ago. There was also a Mistle Thrush singing in the trees near the Leaf Yard

    1. There's been at least one there for several weeks, and I think I've heard both a male and a female calling.

  2. I guess bees will know when a plant is poisonous to them? I know one of Virgil's shepherds wished his friend's bees would steer away from yew trees.

    1. There are plants which are not poisonous to bees but are to humans -- that is, honey made from their flowers is poisonous. The most celebrated example is the rhododendron honey that made Xenophon's men ill for several days. There are no rhododendrons in the park as far as I am aware. They need acid soil.

      I don't know what yew honey does to you, but the poisonousness of yew was well known in ancient times. The ancient Britons used it as a means of suicide.

  3. Good to see the Heron chicks getting stronger.

    The bee in your photo doesn't look like a Honey Bee to me. I'd suggest it's one of the early Andrena mining bees, some of which can be tricky to identify to species.

    1. I was wondering about it too, and looking at pictures. Thought it would just qualify as a Honeybee, but evidently wrong here. There were a lot of them, 15 or 20, on this clump.

  4. Maybe some were Honey Bees? Though these mining bees are "solitary", with some of them you can get large nesting aggregations of them. Yesterday I found a smallish aggregate of what I'm pretty sure were Andrena flavipes on a small bank in our local country park, so I guess you could get quite a few of them together?

    1. Thanks. I only photographed this bee, so I can't be sure of the others now. Have amended the blog.