Saturday 12 March 2022

Everyone likes cake

A mild and fairly bright Saturday brought a lot of people to the park, so the smaller birds tended to keep in the background. But a plate on a restaurant table with plenty of cake crumbs attracted Starlings ...

... until they were evicted by a Carrion Crow.

A Long-Tailed Tit gathered lichen for a nest at the back of the Lido.

Whenever I pass the trees at the southwest corner of the bridge this Great Tit comes out for a pine nut.

The Redwings on the Parade Ground, so shy when they first arrived, are now quite interested in being photographed.

Feral Pigeons seem to prefer mates of their own colour, though in this case the female resisted the male's advances. Pigeon fanciers call this bronze colour 'red'.

The baskets put in the treetops on the island to encourage Grey Herons to nest were attracting a pair of Egyptian Geese. The herons have completely ignored the baskets and prefer to make their own nests from scratch, so it doesn't matter here. But in Regent's  Park, where the herons often do use baskets, these are now often stolen by Egyptians with a bad effect on the number of breeding herons.

The younger and smaller heron in the nest has now, like its elder sibling, taken to walking around the edge of the nest. But I still haven't seen either of them venture out on to a branch.

Last year's young heron, recently hanging around the the Dell, returned to the island and perched on a post.

There were over 100 Herring Gulls on the Serpentine, almost all of them in their first or second year. I wonder where the older gulls go. They are quite long-lived birds, often reaching 30, and even allowing for fast breeding you'd expect to see more adults.

A Great Crested Grebe preened its shining white belly.

There is now only one Moorhen in the Dell, an adult. I fear its mate and last year's young one have been taken by the fox that lies up in the bushes on the slope of the earth dam.

The dominant Mute Swan on the Long Water, on the left in this picture, had a stubborn rival today who refused to be chased off. There was a good deal of posturing but it hasn't come to a fight yet.

The rival is not the male swan in the Italian Garden, who was enjoying a shower from the windblown spray of the marble fountain.

No one has yet seem where his mate has gone, but probably she is nesting somewhere hidden in the reeds.


  1. I don't get the reasoning behind artificially assisting a predator that is not endangered i.e. herons (unless it's thought special measures are needed to control the rats). It seems predatorist when we're not allowed to feed the wildfowl. Jim

    1. Ours not to reason why. But anything that eats rats is probably to be encouraged. And anyway I like herons.

  2. I can't believe how quickly the Heron chicks have grown. It seems only yesterday that they were little more than a small punky 'do half-seen among the sticks.

    I like to think that the Redwings are aware of their prettiness and thus will happily pose for their adoring fans.

    1. The young herons have been crammed with fish purée many times every day to make them grow like that. Heron parents may not look affectionate, but they certainly deliver the goods.

      I think those Redwings are now used to me looking over the fence at them. Even the smallest birds recognise human individuals and learn that they will do no harm.