Thursday 31 March 2022

A Belgian Lesser Black-Backed Gull

One of the Song Thrush pair on the east side of the Long Water dug around and found a slug.

A Coal Tit looked out from crabapple blossom near the Albert Memorial.

In the branches round about there were a Blue Tit ...

... a Great Tit ...

... and a Robin.

A Wren perched for a moment on a rock in the Dell. I don't know why it was holding its tail down in that way -- it wasn't displaying to a mate -- but there was a stiff wind and it may have been trying not to get blown away.

A Magpie on Buck Hill collected grass to line its nest.

The Tawny Owl came out several times, but looked uncomfortable in the wind.

A Pied Wagtail sang on the gusty shore of the Serpentine.

Barry Jones sent this interesting picture of a Lesser Black-Backed Gull that was ringed at Grembergen in Belgium in 2018 and now on the Serpentine. This is the first time it's been reported since it was ringed. I was with Barry at the time and we only managed to get part of the number, but it was enough for the ringing people to identify as L926985.

The pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Back was preening his immaculate plumage.

A solitary Black-Headed Gull sat beside the shrubs at the Lido, looking rather miserable. I checked that it wasn't injured: it could walk and fly perfectly well. It should be able to get plenty of food here from the scraps dropped by humans.

One of the Great Crested Grebes on the Long Water brought a fish for the chick. It's growing fast.

There is a new grebe nest south of the Vista. I think the pair that nested under the willow have abandoned their nest, possibly after trouble with Coots, and moved to a new site.

A pair of Coots built up their nest among iris leaves in one of the Italian Gardens fountains. They already have seven eggs in it.

Michael Mac reports that someone has seen two Ring-Necked Ducks on the Serpentine. This American species looks very like a Tufted Duck but the drake has no tuft and a cinnamon-coloured ring round the base of his neck. I shall be looking out for them.


  1. Very picturesque shot of the Coal Tit, but it looks more like an ornamental flowering Crab Apple rather than Hawthorn to me?

    I don't blame the Tawny Owl if it disappeared frequently- it was certainly blasting cold air yesterday. a group of us walked from Kew to Richmond along the river & when we weren't protected by trees it was biting.

    I was surprised to see at least 40 Black-headed Gulls still lingering along there, though vastly outnumbered by 170+ Herring Gulls!

    Interesting to read about the ringed Lesser Black-back.

    1. Thank you. I inspected the tree today, and the leaves that are coming out are definitely not hawthorn leaves. I am deplorably ignorant about the various blossoms of the Rosaceae, as you will have noticed. I ran PlantNet on it, which said that it was a Japanese Crabapple.

  2. Nice, I saw the tawny today and managed to take quite a few good shots, he wasn't there when I arrived and within two minutes hopped out of his hole. Didn't want to disturb him so I didn't stay for long, let s hope he finds a mate.

  3. Great to see that the Grebe chick is growing so well. It looks liks it is getting plentiful food, I hope.

    1. So do I. Its parents are keeping it firmly over the far side of the lake, which makes it hard to observe.