Wednesday, 1 June 2022

Return of the invading Egyptian

You may remember that last year the blond male Egyptian Goose near the Triangle car park, who had had a brood of goslings, was ousted by an aggressive male and not reunited with his mate for months. Well, exactly the same thing has happened again with the same three birds. The interloper was standing dominatingly next to the female.

Virginia said that she had seen her trying to get away from him, but that he had just followed her. She was driven away from her young several times, and there are now only two left, one of them blond like its father.

The father was standing on the edge some distance away looking very depressed. There had been a fight and he has some wounds on his back. Alberto has been attending him and has given him two shots of antibiotics.

Later he started edging towards his mate, and was promptly chased away. None of us has ever seen other Egyptians behaving like this.

On a more cheerful note, five Egyptian goslings on the south side of the Serpentine are now quite large and no longer in danger from the ever hungry Herring Gulls ...

... and this is the largest of this year's young, a single survivor, now a proper little goose though it will be some time before it gets flight feathers.

A Coot chipped irritably at a family of Egyptians which had got too close to its nest. But even a Coot realises that if it attacks a goose with goslings it will get hammered, so it stayed on the nest.

The Coots at the bridge were busy feeding their six chicks.

A Greylag found a red flower someone had thrown it the lake, pecked it to pieces and ate every bit of it.

The careless Mandarin mother at the Vista was begging for food from people sitting on the benches. I think the ducklings are all gone now.

A male Great Spotted Woodpecker (note the red patch on the back of the neck, which only males have) was looking for insects on the trunk of a horse chestnut tree on Buck Hill. At the end of this clip you can see that the leaves are already badly damaged by Leaf Miner moth, so the bird was probably finding plenty to eat.

A Magpie had a very quick bath in the pool at the top of the Dell waterfall.

The adult female Grey Wagtail was sunning herself on a rock at the bottom of the waterfall ...

... and a young one was hunting on the edge of the lake near the outflow.

Wrens are making a lot of noise everywhere. Here is one near the Henry Moore sculpture ...

... and two in different places on the edge of the Serpentine.

A Common Carder bee worked over a patch of cranesbill near the Lido.


  1. A veritable Wren bonanza, today. Plucky, hardy, reliable little bird.

    The saga of the Egyptian trio is riveting. What a strange behaviour. It's hard not to feel compassion for the poor ousted male. It seems awfully dejected. The female doesn't look happy at all. Will the new male look after the existing goslings?


    1. Last year the male did look after the stolen goslings. But this year he has already caused the death of four of them. It remains to be seen how the other two will fare. This is not a safe place for young birds, near to posts on which Herring Gulls perch.

  2. Of course the Great Spotted Woodpecker's tree is a Horse chestnut

    1. Thanks. Yes, I should have made that clear.