Tuesday 8 March 2022

Starling and Coot reclaim their nests

A Starling claimed a nest hole in a plane tree beside the Serpentine. It was always a Starling hole till the invasive Rose-Ringed Parakeets arrived and stole it. But now it looks as if the Starlings have managed to take it back.

A female Greenfinch came out on a tree near the bridge.

Below, the Long-Tailed Tits brought bits of lichen ...

... and spider web to their nest ...

... and a Robin spread its wings to take off.

The Redwings on the Parade Ground are coming closer and closer, but they'll be off any day now.

A Feral Pigeon preened his mate.

A Carrion Crow did its best to look charming in a patch of daffodils.

Two pictures from Kensington Gardens by Ahmet Amerikali: a Great Spotted Woodpecker ...

... and a fine shot of a Jay in flight.

I didn't see many of the usual Jays today. They may be busy nesting.

The leg colour of Common Gulls is varied, ranging from quite bright yellow ...

... through straw and off-white to grey.

Some northern European birds, which are darker than the ones we see here, have charcoal grey legs.

A Cormorant scratched its chin on a post at Peter Pan.

A new pair of Great Crested Grebes have arrived on the Serpentine, and now they have to claim territory in the face of the two existing pairs. A faceoff ensued, with a lot of threatening, diving and advancing under water, but they avoided an actual fight.

It was one of these pairs that stole the Coots' nest at the Diana fountain landing stage. The Coots have now taken it back and are guarding it. It's in a poor location and not really desirable.

A Moorhen was caught in a tailwind.

The last surviving Egyptian gosling wandered away from its parents and was attacked by another Egyptian. Luckily it wasn't hurt.


  1. I can't bear to look at the poor thing. I don't think it has many chances.

    The Carrion Crow is certainly looking very attractive among the yellow flowers. I think it knows that it sets its fine figure to advantage.

    1. It's sad how savage Egyptians are to baby birds that are quite likely their first cousins. A Canada Goose would help to look after its relatives, but Egyptians are not proper geese.

  2. Well done on the Starlings reclaiming territory! It's a species that does seem absent in parts of London but common in others. When I was at Kew Gardens a couple of days ago not a single bird, get several in my garden & at one of my local patches at Warren Farm often a flock of c200 birds.

    Fine portrait of the Redwing-we will miss seeing these soon! Great shot of the Jay in flight too.

    1. I think there are about 200 Starlings in the park, not enough for an impressive flight but they do their best.

      The Redwings seem to be hanging on. There were more today, at least 40 on the ground and more twittering in the trees. They are eating worms as tough they were going out of fashion. But now the strong east wind has stopped there's nothing else to keep them here.

  3. Do you think that parakeets are an invasive species? By that I mean harms biodiversity unlike for example little owls which don't seem to.

    1. Yes, absolutely. They drive out smaller birds, steal nest holes and wreck trees by ripping of leaf buds.