Thursday, 1 April 2021

Two Sand Martins flew over the Serpentine heading north, the first I've seen this year.

Two Blackcaps sang, one above the bramble thicket near the leaf yard which is one of their usual places ...

... and the other in the woodland at the foot of Buck Hill.

A Wren came out of the bushes for a moment.

A Green Woodpecker landed in a tree near the leaf yard, and I got one hasty shot of it before it flew away.

A brief glimpse of a female Chaffinch who saw me over her shoulder and fled into the bushes.

Tom got a picture of the Mistle Thrush nest near the Round Pond with two chicks just visible.

One thrush keeps watch over the nest while the other is away finding food.

Another picture by Tom, a Carrion Crow that has won a sachet of baby food.

The Coot nest in the usual place by the balcony of the Dell restaurant was wrecked by recent high winds, but the Coots have rebuilt it. The massive foundation of submerged branches seems to survive the winter, so they don't need to remake it from scratch.

A Coot posed as a captain going down with his ship, though no one was deceived.

The battle between Mute Swans and humans in the reed bed at the east end of the Serpentine continues. More bits of wood have been added to the bottom of the net and wired in place. The swans were nearby planning their next move, which will probably be to breach the net in another place.

A pair of Canada Geese want to nest on the swans' island in the Long Water. Naturally the swans are chasing them off, but they keep coming back.

The Black Swan and its Mute companion took no notice of the hammering and drilling on the new platform beside the Long Water. Birds understand that when humans are working they don't pose a threat.

The Egyptian Geese on the grass beside the Henry Moore sculpture saw a dog approaching on the path and quickly took their seven young to a safe distance. It was only a small dog, but that's the worst kind as they can get through the railings.

Yesterday I thought that the Egyptians on the Serpentine with eight goslings had lost two, but I was wrong. The two must have wandered off out of view, as they tend to if not constantly called.

The marble fountain in the Italian Garden is back in operation after months of inactivity. A gusty wind caused it to drench people who stood on the wrong side.

Two ambulance helicopters waited on Buck Hill at once, the usual pickup point for urgent London casualties. Both are MD-900 Explorers with a Coanda effect tail blower instead of a rear rotor, a type much used for air ambulances which often have to land in confined spaces.


  1. I think this year's Egyptian parents are better at keeping their babies safe than they were last year. Or so I hope.

    Glad to see the Coot hasn't lost their taste for red ornamentation. Unadorned coot nests are sad things to see. As if they had given up.

    I am cheering for the Swans. I fully expect they will just tear a bigger hole open and come walzing through it.

    1. The Egyptians are in luck at the moment because there are fewer Herring Gulls than usual on the lake. Let's hope this lasts until the goslings are larger.

      I'm also on the side of the swans, though they have been making a sad mess of the reeds.

  2. The migrants are arriving. Saw a few Sand Martins last week at Richmond Park & heard my first Blackcaps on Tuesday at Ruislip but subsequently heard them in the country park down the road.

    Last Monday was amazing looking at London Birders with about 90 Wheatears at various sites along with goodies like Ring Ouzel, Redstart & Black Redstart. I'd seen 3 Wheatears on my patch the previous day.

  3. Wheatears are sadly lacking in the park. The last one I saw was in the early years of the Winter Wasteland funfair, when repairing the ruined grass took until late March and there was still some bare ground for them when they arrived. Later the job was speeded up and completed by mid-February, so no Wheatears.