Wednesday 16 March 2022

Great Spotted Woodpecker on an ants' nest

You don't usually see Great Spotted Woodpeckers on the ground, but this one had found an ants' nest at the base of a small poplar tree near the Queen's Temple and was vigorously scooping up its inhabitants.

The Long-Tailed Tits in the gorse bush on Buck Hill seem to have finished the main structure of their nest, but still need to collect small feathers for the lining. Unfortunately the entrance to the nest is at the back as we look at it, so there won't be much to see until the fledglings come out.

The Coal Tit at the leaf yard is rather shy, but consented to come out on a twig.

A Blue Tit perched on a pergola in the Rose Garden ...

... and a Robin surveyed its territory from the top of a bush.

A Wren rushed up a tree beside the Long Water, protesting loudly at something.

A female Chaffinch looked out from the shrubbery at the southwest corner of the bridge.

The Wood Pigeon near the Rudolf Steiner bench beside the Long Water now has a mate to share its woodpile.

On a dismal drizzly day, a Pied Wagtail ran up and down the edge of the Serpentine.

The young Grey Herons on the island could be seen in their nest, but weren't doing anything worth photographing. Three other nests are occupied by herons, a big one above the nest with the family and these two at the west end of the island. But I haven't seen any evidence of breeding at any of these.

All the Great Crested Grebes' nests in the park so far this year have been stolen from Coots. It seems that the grebes have learnt that this saves a lot of trouble -- and they get a better built nest, much superior to their own sloppy constructions. This one is at the Serpentine island.

The grebes under the willow at the bridge are constantly occupying their stolen nest, but I haven't been able to see any eggs in it so far.

Two weeks ago this Moorhen in the Dell lost its mate and its teenager from last year, probably taken by the fox that lives in the Dell. It seemed very agitated today. Maybe it had seen the fox again.

The dominant Mute Swan and his mate on the Long Water patrolled the Vista, watching for any swans bold enough to come under the bridge.

Another of the Portland stone urns in the Italian Garden that was newly made for the restoration. The classical and heraldic image of a dolphin is very different from the actual creature, and has a certain element of Donald Duck.


  1. I could have sworn it was a stylized duck!

    Maybe the wood pigeons dream of being dragons sleeping on their gold hoard. Only they remain pigeons and their hoard continues to be just sticks. A sad fate.

    1. All birds retain a memory of the dragon they were 70 million years ago.