Saturday, 10 April 2021

The three Grey Heron chicks -- if you can still call these great gawky creatures chicks -- are on the brink of leaving the nest and climbing about in the branches. They do this long before they can fly, but somehow seem not to fall.

A parent kept away from the commotion in a neighbouring copper beech tree.

The Egyptian Geese on the Serpentine still miraculously have eight goslings. The little ones keep wandering around, and I really don't know how they have survived so long among the Herring Gulls and Carrion Crows.

There is a new family on the terrace of the Dell restaurant, which is still kept closed by the reign of terror. Leona Tan saw eleven goslings here yesterday, but I couldn't count them today as it was cold and they were huddled under their mother.

The three goslings with the blond father are still all right. I couldn't see the family at the Henry Moore sculpture, as they were safely in the bushes.

The solitary Red-Crested Pochard drake on the Long Water, dumped by his Mallard mate, preened and flapped.

The Mute Swan on the Long Water island stared at a Coot. The swans can get rid of all other birds, but the Coots doggedly stay put.

There is a swan nest well established on the other side of the water. I don't think the dominant male is going to be able to get rid of this pair, and conflict is likely.

People give the most extraordinary foods to the birds, especially near the Triangle car park, where people can't be bothered to walk far from their cars and just dump things on the pavement. A Mute Swan ate butter beans -- better than bread anyway.

A Feral Pigeon preferred fusilli pasta with tomato sauce.

A Coot started a futile nest on the edge of the Round Pond.

A Grey Wagtail ran along the water's edge at the Lido restaurant. This stretch of shore is popular with wagtails, as spilt food attracts insects and their hunting ground is screened from humans by a line of planters.

A Pied Wagtail used the boat platform as a hunting station to fly out and catch passing midges. There will also be insects in the goose droppings on the platform.

Several Blackcaps were singing near the leaf yard.

A Wren sang in the Dell.

A Chiffchaff came out of the brambles near the Italian Garden for just long enough to get a picture ...

... but a Goldcrest near the bridge was less obliging, and stayed inside the bushes.

A Rose-Ringed Parakeet was tearing off young horse chestnut leaf shoots, chewing them briefly to squeeze out a bit of sap, throwing them away, and moving on to the next shoot. In this way a few parakeets can wreck a tree. The horse chestnuts have enough to contend with from the Leaf Miner moths, and can do without the attention of these pestilential birds.

I couldn't see any activity around the Mistle Thrushes' nest near the Round Pond, and fear that the Carrion Crows or Magpies have got through their strong defence. One consolation is that the thrushes will nest again. One pair in the Dell only succeeded at their third attempt.


  1. Crossing my fingers for the Mistle Thrushes. Let us keep the hope.

    I still gasp whenever there are pictures or videos of Pied Wagtails, even though I have been seeing them in your blog for ages. They are such a rarity here, it is a treat to be able to see them in such detail and so often.

    1. I think the Pied Wagtail, as opposed to the White Wagtail, is more or less unique to Britain. It's so common here that no one gets excited about it, but a White Wagtail would be a rarity.

  2. It was certainly a miserable, dreary day yesterday & I was sorry we didn't get any much needed rain. Lovely shots of the Chiffchaff & Blackcap.

    1. Only getting worse. Not looking forward to doing the BTO WeBS count with frozen fingers. But at least I don't have to try to count Black-Headed Gulls this month.