Thursday 3 February 2022

Grey Heron chick

The first Grey Heron chick of the year has been hatched on the Serpentine island. As a parent landed on the nest ...

... you could hear the young one clattering its bill, begging for food. It's still too small to be seen over the edge of the nest.

The other adult stood protectively in the top of the tree.

Only a few herons of the park population breed. For this one in Kensington Gardens it was business as usual, fishing from the dead willow near the Italian Garden.

The pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull found a large dead fish, a roach. He pecked at it while his mate waited for her turn.

A Black-Headed Gull had a wash.

Just as the familiar Black-Headed Gull on the south side of the Serpentine is usually seen on a particular No Swimming sign, this Common Gull has claimed a sign on the north side.

This mad mob of gulls, geese, swans and pigeons looks picturesque, but in fact it's the result of someone emptying a huge bag of stale Arab flatbread on the edge of the lake. This is not feeding, it's dumping and makes a filthy mess.

The ultra-aggressive Mute Swan at the east end of the Serpentine had forced a female swan on to the land, and was on his way to harass another swan farther along the shore.

The male of the pair of Egyptian Geese in the Italian Garden stood on the marble fountain to proclaim his right to the territory. You can hear the other fountains, but this one has constantly gone wrong since new pumps were put in a few years ago and has been out of order for months.

A Shoveller drake stood on the submerged wall around the fountain to unfold and preen his wings. The many colours of the wings of ducks (and of Egyptian Geese, which are semi-ducks) show what a complex thing a wing is.

Greylag Geese flew over.

The Redwings were busy hunting on the Parade Ground ...

... but a female Pied Wagtail preferred the Diana fountain enclosure.

Two Robins on adjacent bushes in the Rose Garden sang at each other. They might even be mates -- who knows with these fierce little birds?

The first daffodils have come out in the Rose Garden.


  1. Is it my impression, or is Spring springing early this year? Flowers and birds seem to be getting ahead of themselves.

    Hoping we will get a glimpse of the punky-haired dinosaur-looking little Heron soon.

    1. I think this premature spring is a false start and will soon be corrected by a cold spell that shuts everything down till March. Luckily most creatures and plants seem to be able to restart after this not uncommon event.