Wednesday 27 April 2022

Young Pied Wagtail

The Tawny Owl was back in his usual place after a considerable absence. He's certainly rationing his appearances.

A Blackbird preened in a bush in the Flower Walk.

One of the Song Thrushes beside the Long Water flew into an oak tree.

Neil photographed this Blackcap at the northwest corner of the bridge -- one of many beside the Long Water, but the new leaves are making it hard to see them.

A Wren chittered on a twig in the Flower Walk.

A Robin perched on a red hazel stem.

So did a Coal Tit carrying a caterpillar. Thanks again to Neil for this picture, which shows that the Coal Tits in the Flower Walk have managed to breed.

A Blue Tit looked down from a budding twig ...

... and one of the nesting Long-Tailed Tits paused for a moment in a tree.

This is the first sight of the young Pied Wagtail whose parents have been seen collecting insects for it for some time. It was on a buoy at the Lido while its father hunted on the shore.

I briefly and distantly saw four birds speeding over the Serpentine which I'm fairly sure were Sand Martins. House Martins would have been more expected, but I think I'd have seen their distinctive white patch even at a distance. These are the first hirundines I've spotted in the park this year.

You don't often see the soft side of the pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull, but here he is with his mate having a little affectionate display.

The eight new Great Crested Grebes on the Serpentine are still flocking together, as they do for a few days after arrival. I managed to get seven of them into one picture. Not shown is an existing pair from the island, who were shouting resentfully at them.

The Coot nest built in deep water near the Serpentine outflow is growing daily.

A Mute Swan nest at the east end of the island looks well established.

The swans at the small boathouse now have their first egg, so they have defeated the attempts of the park staff to stop them nesting here.

Drew has rescued the Canada goslings from the raft, and the four were on the Long Water with their parents.

The last surviving duckling of this Mallard brood was left alone after its mother foolishly flew away down the bank. It set off to find her, calling plaintively, and was chased away by a pair of Gadwalls. Eventually they were reunited.


  1. Good to see the gorgeous Tawny Owl back.

    Lesser Black-backs are a pretty unusual in Richmond Park other than flyovers, but when I was there yesterday a pair were patrolling low over the lower Pen Pond. I could see why as there were some broods of Greylag. After 5 minutes of watching one landed by the island & had snatched a solitary small gosling with a crow trying to unsuccessfully intervene.

    1. From my own observations, Lesser Black-Backs seem to be more predatory than Herring Gulls, and generally fiercer. They have no difficulty in chasing the larger Herring Gulls out of anywhere they consider their territory,

  2. Poor Mallard chick, its pitiful piping breaks one's heart.

    Great to see the Tawny hasn't deserted us and is still gracing us with its presence.

    Odd how affectionate that killing machine can be.

    1. That's Tinúviel, BTW. Don't know why I cannot log in!

    2. I knew it was. But sad to say there's nothing I can do about the incessant faults of Blogger. It's even worse from this end, with pictures appearing in the wrong place, YouTube videos coming out as grey rectangles, and the layout in free fall.

      I'd advise calling up the blog and then, in another tab, logging out of Gmail (and if using Chrome or Chromium, out of Google too) and then logging back in.

      Gulls are very intelligent. You'd expect them to have quite a rich emotional life. I often see pairs performing various displays to each other. It seems a little surprising for a bird that you usually see massacring pigeons, but really it shouldn't be.