Monday 18 April 2022

Trouble with twigs

One of the pair of Song Thrushes beside the Long Water perched amid blossom. This would have been a good picture, but it was one of those days when twigs get in the way of everything.

A Blackbird protested furiously at a Magpie raiding his nest in the brambles below the tree.

This is one of the reasons why we're seeing less of the Tawny Owl than we used to. Jackdaws know he's in the hole and gang up to shout at him.

A Treecreeper was climbing on this tree and the neighbouring oaks. They favour oaks because the deeply fissured bark harbours a lot of insects.

A Pied Wagtail worked its way round the Serpentine. The boat platform is also a good place for insects because it gets covered with bird droppings which settle in the grooved planks.

The horse chestnut blossom is coming out, and a Wood Pigeon was eating it.

One of the young Grey Herons confronted a Moorhen. I've seen a heron try to swallow one. It failed, but the unfortunate Moorhen died from suffocation.

A Moorhen, possibly the same one, had a brisk wash on the other side of the Long Water.

The Coots at the Dell restaurant have rebuilt their astonishing nest in deeper water than before.

It's about 20 feet from the edge, in at least 4 feet of water. I have no idea how the Coots manage to move the large waterlogged branches that make up its foundation.

The Coots on the new nest at Peter Pan had an affectionate moment.

But the pair with chicks are down to the last one, thanks to the Lesser Black-Backed Gulls which have been hanging around here for days.

The Egyptian Geese on the Serpentine have also lost one and are down to eight goslings ...

... and it's the same sad story with the Mallard, now down to four. But actually it's remarkable that these birds have been able to keep any for so long on the gull-infested lake.

Blondie was preening on the edge. I was asked whether she has a mate, and wasn't sure. However, the answer at present seems to be no. She has had at least two mates but doesn't seem able to keep them.

Victoria Schofield sent this pretty picture of a metallic green Rose Chafer beetle on the Astroturf of the tennis courts in Hyde Park.

A Honeybee visited the wallflowers in the Flower Walk.

We've had pictures of Speckled Wood butterflies before, but I am very fond of their delicate brown colour scheme.


  1. Those two Coots are astonishing, even for building-Coot standards.

    That poor Blackbird sounds anguished. I wonder if complaining so loudly has ever dissuaded a Magpie from doing mischief. I suppose it must have an evolutionary advantage.

    1. It alerts all the other birds in the area including the Blackbird's near relatives, so I suppose there's a general advantage. The Blackbirds didn't go as far as hitting the Magpie as, say, a Mistle Thrush would have.

  2. Lovely to see the Treecreeper. Have only seen a couple this year.

    Rose Chafers look such exotic beetles & always enjoy seeing them. They will often breed in open compost heaps.

    Seems to be a very good season for Speckled Woods as I'm seeing far more than I did this time last year.

    1. Yes, there is a remarkable lot of Speckled Woods. They are all over the park. Also plenty of Peacocks.