Friday 18 March 2022

More Egyptian goslings

A Green Woodpecker is often seen on Buck Hill above the Henry Moore sculpture.

At the bottom of the Hill a Wren perched on a bramble.

A Grey Heron landed on a very thin branch at the island and discovered that it had to flap to keep its balance in the gusty wind.

Nearly all the Black-Headed Gulls have left for their breeding grounds, which may be a thousand miles away in northern Europe or just down the river on the Pitsea landfill site near Basildon. A few stragglers remain.

Spring has made the Coots even more aggressive than usual. All you need is a few together and a fight is bound to break out.

The Egyptian Geese that live in the Italian Garden have eight new goslings (sadly down from nine earlier this morning) from a nest in an unknown tree, and have taken them to the Mute Swans' nesting island. Luckily the swans haven't started nesting yet. The brushwood is going to be laid on the artificial island to build it up, as it's sinking.

Yesterday a pair of Mute Swans discovered that they could get behind the fence protecting the big Long Water reed bed, and today they started making a nest there. They will have the dominant Long Water swan to contend with, and he is a tough old bird.

He was dealing with a dog at the Vista. It was too big to attack, so there was an uneasy standoff till the dog conceded victory and left.

The pair at the Lido restaurant seem determined to nest on the edge of the terrace.

The gardeners removed the twigs from this pair's chosen site next to the boathouse in an effort to deter the swans from nesting, but they have simply brought more twigs.

The blossoming cherry tree near the Albert Memorial was a busy scene, with a Blue Tit ...

 ...a Peacock butterfly shifting around to find the best place for drinking nectar out of a flower ...

... a Small Tortoiseshell ...

... and plenty of Buff-Tailed Bumblebees.

I misinformed you yesterday about a ginger bee on the pulmonaria in the Rose Garden. It wasn't a Common Carder, it was a male Hairy-Footed Flower Bee. The females are black and look quite different, and there was also a correctly captioned picture of one of those. Here's today's picture of a male on the same kind of flower, which the bees are seeking out in preference to all the others.

Duncan Campbell got a fine picture of a Comma butterfly.

Tom was at Rainham Marshes, where he got a good shot of a Water Vole swimming.


  1. I don't think deterrence works with swans.

    A couple of days ago we saw a Moorhen brawl. They were fighting Coot-style, kicking their opponents. It must have been the Coots' bad influence.

    1. It's the time of year when even a mild tempered Moorhen thinks of murdering his neighbours.

  2. Lovely shot of the Wren.

    Yesterday was certainly a good day for insects. The cherry trees at Kew were swarming with Honey Bees & Buff-tailed Bumblebees, but also saw Early Bumblebee & a few Hairy-footed Flower Bees. Plenty of butterflies too, though no small Tortoiseshell for me. you have a lovely photo of one.

    1. Haven't had an Early Bumblebee here. They don't seem common in the park, though maybe I'm overlooking them.