Thursday, 20 May 2021

The female Peregrine was back on the barracks tower after a long absence. I heard her calling and hastened over to get a picture before she disappeared. I couldn't see the male, but he may have been at the back of the wide ledge.

A young Starling on Buck Hill had a parent working hard to find insects in the grass for it.

A Robin sang on a twig.

Two young Grey Wagtails ran around in the scrubby bushes at the end of the Lido restaurant terrace. I haven't see three for several days, and there may only be two now. Becoming independent is a hard test for all birds, and not all make it.

A family of Long-Tailed Tits were making a noise in the bushes at the bottom of Buck Hill. The bushes were dense and I could only get a picture of an adult.

The pink-flowered hawthorn near the Queen's Temple is always full of birds, and many of them have been shown in recent posts. To complete the catalogue, here are a Rose-Ringed Parakeet ...

... a Carrion Crow ...

... and a Wood Pigeon -- thanks to Neil for this picture.

There is a new family of Mandarins at the Lido. Their mother kept them sheltered in the reeds at the east end, so it was impossible to count them.

This pair, caught by Leona Tan in yesterday's evening sunlight on the south side of the Serpentine, is probably a different one.

There were three male Mute Swans displaying at each other beside the island, while the mate of one looked after the cygnets.

The family on the Long Water cruised past a reed bed.

Two Greylag goslings rested on the edge of the Serpentine.

A Gadwall drake preened his wings, which had become a bit ragged and needed his attention.

The Coot nest in a silly place on the south side of the Serpentine is now very large. It has everything except location.


  1. Great architects, not so good topographers, it seems.

    I will cling to hope. Perhaps the third Grey Wagtail will turn up tomorrow.

    I wonder about raised wings in female swans. Does it mean the same in female and male swans? I think females have no habit of busking?

    1. I think you're right about female swans not busking, but the raised wings are definitely a threat -- stay away from my babies -- and the female would fight any swan or other creature that intruded.

  2. The parks around here also seem full of young, hungry Starlings- the recent rains assisting the capture of soil invertebrates.

    Nice to see the Mandarin duckling. A species that seems to be doing well. I always see a few Mandarins on the Thames on the days I go into Richmond. Closer to home I see some on the Brent in Hanwell.

    2 out of 3 youngsters for the Grey Wagtail would still be a great result as mortality is always high in youngsters. Hopefully the adults will have another brood.

    1. I should have more video of young Starlings, as they are much seen, but the way they whiz about makes them hard to film.

      The breeding success of Mandarins in the park is poor, and in my memory only two broods, of 4 and 1, have got through. The park is an overspill area from a more successful group on the Regent's Canal a short way to the north.

      Conditions would be perfect for the Grey Wagtails to breed again, either at the Lido or in their old place under the Dell waterfall. The whole area is awash with nutritious midges. But I have not so far seen them breed twice in a year.

      These young Grey Wagtails, abandoned by their parents, know no place other than the park. They can't return to the colony at Chelsea Bridge because there is no bird to show them where it is.