Tuesday, 11 May 2021

The three young Grey Wagtails at the Lido restaurant are now completely independent and feeding themselves, and their mother is no longer visiting them. She must be off somewhere relaxing after her long and frantic labour.

The young birds are still not showing any intention of moving out, although the adults range all over the lake. This is an ideal spot for insects, which feed on the spilt food at the restaurant, crawl along the algae on the edge of the water, and teem in the plentiful droppings of the Egyptian Geese that like to rest on the jetty. This is the family with two blond goslings.

The young Long-Tailed Tits in the nest near the Henry Moore sculpture still need constant attention from their parents -- and at this nest from at least one relative that has joined in to help.

A Chiffchaff hopped around in a bramble patch on the other side of the Long Water.

A Magpie posed grandly in pink hawthorn blossom.

A Wood Pigeon ate the flower buds of a Cockspur Hawthorn near the Albert Memorial. This is a north American species. Recently the park management has decided to plant only native trees.

Another Wood Pigeon tried to guard its piece of bread against an aggressive Feral Pigeon, but came off second best.

One of the young Grey Herons in the second nest was more visible than usual.

A pair of Coots ate each other's fleas beside the Serpentine. This is as close as Coots get to courtship.

Joan Chatterley sent me a pleasing picture of the Mute Swan family in St James's Park with the attendant Black Swan -- which is 'our' Black Swan that used to be on the Serpentine several years ago.

She tells me that this trio has been in existence for several years, and the male Mute Swan and the Black Swan cooperate in chasing off other Mute Swans. He has never shown any aggression towards her. But this is the first time that she has actually been allowed to help look after the cygnets.

A pair of Canada Geese at the Lido have five goslings, the best effort so far on the Serpentine.

But they are easily surpassed by a pair of Greylags in St James's Park, which have eight. Thanks again to Joan for this picture.

An Egyptian Goose and her three goslings dozed while they could beside the Serpentine. Their mother kept a constant lookout for an approaching dog.

Another pair of Egyptians are often seen in the Dell, here in a patch of Japanese Primroses. If they can find a tree hole -- which shouldn't be too hard here -- it would be a good place to nest, with few Herring Gulls and with railings to keep dogs out. Only the Carrion Crows spoil and ideal situation.

This Tufted drake usually sits by himself near the Lido. He is conspicuous because he has very tatty tail feathers. Perhaps he has lost a fight for dominance in the Tufted community.

A Hairy-Footed Flower Bee browsed on a patch of Spanish Gorse in the Dell.


  1. It looks like only yesterday when the young Wagtails were trying to learn the ropes of feeding themselves. They grow up so fast!

    We should keep a collective eye on our former Black Swan. If she is allowed to raise other swan's cygnets it ought to be documented and perhaps sent to a scientific journal!

    1. Yes, it's amazing how fast the Grey Wagtails have grown up. Of course we never saw the early stages when they were little pink blobs in the nest.

      This behaviour of the Black Swan really does need looking into. Are only white swans viewed as intruders? Anyway, there's ample documentation.

  2. I can't see a picture of the St James's swan family - or is the problem mine?

    1. Thanks for pointing that out. The picture was certainly there when I put up the blog, but it seems to have dropped out for some reason. I've put it back. Hope it stays.