Tuesday 21 February 2023

Nesting Great Crested Grebes

The nesting season is well under way. A pair of Great Crested Grebes were building a typically untidy and soggy nest under a willow on the Long Water.

Another pair displayed on the Long Water before going off purposefully to find a nest site.

A third pair cruised side by side on the Serpentine.

It was a slightly chilly day and the Little Grebe in the Italian Garden was fluffed up to the maximum, becoming hemispherical.

In the same pool a Tufted drake preened his smart black and white feathers.

Duncan Campbell got a fine picture of a Mandarin drake at the Vista in a brief sunny interval yesterday.

A pair of Coots made a nest nearby.

The Egyptian Goose nesting in the dead tree by the Henry Moore sculpture kept an eye on the world.

The Egyptians at the Round Pond are down to two goslings ...

... but the pair on the Serpentine still have their original seven. Their father chased off some Black-Headed Gulls, which are too small to be dangerous but still a nuisance. There were very few Herring Gulls, hence the lucky survival of the young Egyptians -- at least so far.

The Grey Heron in the lower nest is beginning to be hidden by blossom.

One parent sat in the upper nest guarding the chick, while the other stood in the next tree keeping an eye on the lower nest, which is a short way off to the right.

On a dim grey day it was a surprise, but a very welcome one, to see the Little Owl at the Round Pond.

It's so easy for Redwings to find worms on the Parade Ground that they only come down occasionally, eat their fill, and fly up into the trees to digest the meal.

There are very few Pied Wagtails on the Parade Ground, much less than in previous years. It seems that there aren't many insect larvae for them, and they are too small to deal with earthworms. One hunted along the edge of the Serpentine.

In the trees behind the Albert Memorial, the male Chaffinch ...

... and his mate waited to grab pine nuts thrown into the air.

They were accompanied by a Blue Tit with an unusual yellow tinge to its face.


  1. Has it been eating pollen, I wonder?
    A very cold spell is forecasted for the next week here. I hope it won't be likewise for you and birds which are now thinking of nesting won't be disturbed.

    1. Yes, perhaps, or poking its beak into a flower looking for insects. It might be the yellow flowers of the paperbush which are now out, but I can't examine them because workmen are putting in a drain and the beautiful flowers bloom unheeded.

      Here a chilly spell is forecast, but no actual frost. Normal for late February but, as is well known, British weather can't be forecast for more than a couple of days ahead, and even that is inaccurate.