Tuesday 8 February 2022

Two Great Spotted Woodpeckers

A Great Spotted Woodpecker looked for insects in a tree on the Parade Ground. This is a female: males have a red patch on the back of the head ...

... like this one, seen in a tree in the leaf yard.

The Redwings are still on the Parade Ground. These shy birds like to stay under trees so that they can fly into shelter at a moment's notice.

A pair of Long-Tailed Tits are flying in and out of the Rose Garden where there is a euonymus bush in which there was a nest last year. It looks as if they're starting early this year, like many other birds.

A Wren perched nearby.

Ahmet Amerikali got a good picture of a Goldcrest beside the Long Water.

A Grey Heron came ashore in a reed bed on the Long Water to look for rats. I suppose they eat mice too but I've never seen this, unlike rat captures which I've seen several times. Probably mice go down so quickly that you miss the moment.

The pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull rested comfortably beside his mate. He is in front in this picture -- note the slightly different head shapes of male and female.

The affectionate Herring Gull pair on the south side of the Serpentine were also together.

A young one played with a stick.

The Great Crested Grebes on the Long Water are still occupying the stolen Coot nest. You can see the nest distantly from Peter Pan ...

... and there is a closer but obstructed view from the east side of the Long Water.

At the island, a pair displayed in front of a Coot nest between two wire baskets. This is a last year's nest abandoned by its builders, so it's theirs for the taking.

A Moorhen on the Long Water was also interested in a Coot nest -- but this is a new and active nest, and the moment the Coots came back it would have been sent packing.

Every time I see the aggressive male Mute Swan at the east end of the Serpentine he's chasing off a rival.

Greylag Geese cruised up the Long Water in an orderly line.

Male and female Egyptian Geese geese have very different calls.


  1. Lovely shots of the gulls- all now with gleaming white heads for their summer dress!

    Always a joy to watch displaying Great Crested Grebes. We watched a pair in Osterley Park yesterday where there was a flock of 40+ Redwing feeding in a large field. Quite skittish, regularly flying up with the Starlings.

    1. Redwings panic at the merest shadow, then don't come down for half an hour. Makes them hard to photograph.

  2. What an ungodly racket male Egyptians make. No doubt some enterprising Egyptian will soon deploy its call as a sort of sonic weapon.

    I had never noticed how much more robust a male gull's head is. That is such a clear and didactic picture.

    1. There are lots of Egyptians in the park, 67 at the last count but it has been over 100 at times. The noise is sometimes deafening.