Friday, 6 May 2022

Starlings nesting

Several Starlings are nesting in the eaves of the Buck Hill shelter. The nestlings chatter excitedly every time a parent arrives with food.

A Robin looked out shyly from the bushes near the bridge, hoping for a pine nut which of course I provided.

Neil got a quick shot of the first Long-Tailed Tit fledgling to emerge from the nest at the northwest corner of the bridge. It was slightly obscured by a twig, but the important thing is that the nest has succeeded.

A Jay followed me down the Flower Walk demanding peanuts.

A group of Wood Pigeons were feeding on the ground, and at first I thought this was a young one before it developed its white neck ring -- the young have dark eyes. But in fact the green iridescent patch on its neck shows it to be a Stock Dove that just happened to be with them.

I ought to have known what this bird is, but I confess that I couldn't identify it from below. It was at the top of a tall tree beside the Long Water. It turns out to be a male Reed Bunting -- just about the only bird that size I hadn't thought of.

A Grey Wagtail caught midges on the small waterfall in the Dell. There were so many insects over the stream that only a little jump was necessary to get one.

A Pied Wagtail hunted on the blue rubber non-slip mat on the Lido jetty, slightly hampered by a broken tail feather but it will grow new ones in due course.

The Coots nesting on the water filter under the Italian Garden were indignant about a Grey Heron that landed next to their nest. They already have some eggs.

Neil captured all eight of the Coot chicks in the fountain pool in a compact group.

The Mute Swans nesting on the gravel bank still haven't been evicted by the dominant swan. Will they get away with it?

I was told that some of the eggs had been stolen from the swan nest east of the Lido, but today's picture shows six of the seven that I think the nest contains. Swans are very good at covering up their eggs when they leave the nest, and it's easy to be deceived.

Four Canada goslings browsed among the daisies on the grassy bank at the back of the Lido swimming area.

The winner of the Mandarin drake fight I photographed yesterday was preening complacently in his territory, while the loser was far away at the other end of the Serpentine.

A Greenbottle fly settled on a leaf in the Rose Garden.

Neil photographed this pair of butterflies at the northwest corner of the bridge. They have been identified as Holly Blues, though the female looks unusually brown in this picture.


  1. Looks like a male Reed bunting.

  2. Before my eyes focused I actually thought it may have been a male sparrow in breeding plumage, but sadly it was just a fleeting impression.

    I would never imagine there are shy Robins. They are such brazen plucky creatures.


    1. Yes, I was hoping for a Sparrow too. Reed Buntings are lovely, but Sparrows here are precious rarities.

    2. I learnt that Robins are shy on the continent, partly because of trapping and shooting of small birds into recent history, is this outdated information? Jim

    3. No, I think it's correct. Tinúviel in Spain has said much the same to me about small birds there.

  3. I am very happy that you still dispense pine nuts and peanuts.
    I want to have a long rant against the diktat forbidding all feeding of all wildlife but you perhaps don't want that here. Anyway, I would be interested in your view.

    1. Please rant away. Always interesting to hear people's views. I try to help small birds, and feed the corvids because they are intelligent and amusing to deal with -- though I don't feed the big crow mobs at the leaf yard. I try to discourage people from giving unhealthy bread to waterfowl.