Tuesday, 3 May 2022

More Reed Warblers

Four Reed Warblers were singing around the Long Water.  One came into sight for a moment in a small swamp cypress near the Italian Garden.

A Wren brought moss to a nest in a yew hedge in the Flower Walk.

A Blue Tit looked out from a yew a short way along the path before flying down to take a pine nut from my hand.

One of the Long-Tailed Tits nesting at the Lido preened on a twig.

Both a Grey Wagtail ...

... and a Pied Wagtail were catching midges in the Italian Garden.

Two Pied Wagtails hunted on the edge of the Round Pond. Although they are sociable birds they always stay some distance apart, as they may shoot off in a moment in any direction and don't want to collide.

Two Herring Gulls searched for worms in the enclosure of the Diana memorial fountain. A bit of dancing reliably brought one up.

This pair of Grey Herons on the island seemed to be friendly but not really courting. Then they started mating, taking me by surprise but luckily the camera was still switched on.

Usually a Coot tries to nest every year inside this boathouse, on a platform too high above the water for the chicks to get back up when they fall off, so inevitably they all perish. This year a pair are making a nest outside the boathouse, and you can see it through the building. There are no boats on the lake at present, of course, so it has a fair chance of success.

A pair of Coots with two chicks searched for insects in the Mute Swan's nest near the Lido. The swan seemed quite happy with this as long as they didn't get too close to her eggs.

The swan on the island now has four eggs, and was carefully turning them over.

There are now three broods of Mallard ducklings on the Serpentine, more than in recent years thanks to there not being many Herring Gulls at the moment.

That's in addition to the family in the Italian Garden, whose ducklings were bustling all over the pool catching midges.

The two pairs of Canada Geese with goslings are wary of each other, and each was warning the other off. Often Canadas are more sociable and may even share guarding duties, but maybe they have to be related for that to work.

The single Greylag gosling sheltered under its mother's wing.

There are three Egyptian goslings at the Round Pond. Egyptians often breed successfully here as there are few gulls, but numbers are limited by the fact that these very territorial birds can see each other across the open and comparatively small pond, so they attack each other pointlessly.

Tom got a better picture than I did of yesterday's uncooperative Orange Tip butterfly.


  1. Having tried long and unsuccesssfully to teach a friend to catch a glimpse of a Long-Tailed Tit with the binoculars, I have now a much better and deeper appreciation of your ability to take superb pictures of a bird that just never stops still!

    1. In the park you wouldn't need binoculars. They are almost at arms' length sometimes.

  2. Yes, I have seen the parents of the Egyptian goslings at the Round Pond abandon their chicks to attack other Egyptians. That is perhaps how the original 7 goslings got reduced first to 5 then to the present 3.

    1. It's their weakest spot. They lose more goslings this way than any other.