Sunday 26 February 2023

The young Grey Herons get fed

A Blue Tit sang in a treetop next to the busy bridge, having to raise his voice to be heard above the traffic noise.

A pair at Mount Gate both came out to be hand fed.

It's only in the past year that word has got out among the Blue Tits that it's safe to come to people's hands. Before then only a very few would come, now most will.

A Robin sang in the Flower Walk with the gold spire of the Albert Memorial as a background.

Redwings flew around the trees by the Speke obelisk.

A Rose-Ringed Parakeet looked into a hole in a tree near the Round Pond. Neil tells me that he has seen a Little Owl in the hole, so it risked a nasty surprise.

Neil has also seen two Little Owls in the trees here. This raises the question of whether the male owl we often see here is one of last year's young, as I thought, or whether it's one of the pair that bred here.

Anyway, he was on his favourite tree looking particularly magnificent in the hazy afternoon sunshine.

A pair of Magpies perched side by side in the next tree.

A Pied Wagtail chirped as he looked for insect larvae on the edge of the Serpentine. The wind was quite brisk and he kept being blown sideways.

A Moorhen a short way down the shore was enjoying a pot of tomato ketchup.

One of the Grey Herons on the island fed the two chicks by regurgitating mashed fish down their throat. The chicks think this is delicious, anyway.

Another heron looked disapprovingly at a Cormorant on the old water filter below the Italian Garden. The Cormorant's diving was disturbing the heron's stealthy technique.

It was the Cormorant that got a fish, a large carp that it had some difficulty swallowing.

The Little Grebe was in the Italian Garden. If it stays here (and it's been here for two months now) there will be small fish for it when the carp and perch have spawned. Meanwhile it seems to be doing all right on insect larvae and other small aquatic creatures.

The Great Crested Grebes on the Serpentine are making no attempt at nesting, fortunately as there is still little for the young to eat.

There was a young Mute Swan in one of the Italian Garden pools. It can live here well enough eating algae and snails, but it now has to work out first how to climb out of a pool and second how to leave down the steps around the marble fountain. Swans do learn to do this, so it's best to leave it alone and not try to rescue it.

The Egyptian Goose by the Henry Moore sculpture was still on her nest ...

... while her mate on the grass below was being mildly annoyed by a squirrel.


  1. I wish some enteprising biologist team undertook to study how word goes around passerines. Corvids have been studied enough, but small birds haven't been so lucky. I wonder how Blue Tits communicate with one another that it is safe to get pine nuts from this person but not from that one.

    1. One factor, I think, is that Blue Tits move around quite a lot, more than Great Tits, and get a chance to observe others in various places. I have occasionally seen flocks of Blue Tits, not following the peripatetic Long-Tailed Tits but roaming on their own.