Thursday 23 March 2023

Heron chick down from the nest

One of the young Grey Herons is down from the nest.

The other was still up the tree. I hope this was a controlled descent and it can fly back. Heron chicks get fed only when they are on the nest, and obviously this one is no good at fishing yet though it was having a try.

The heron with a very red bill, which has been occupying the lower nest at the west end of the island for the past three days, was down on the ground and so was its mate. So it looks as if hopes that they were nesting are premature -- not for the first time.

The nest above it was occupied by an Egyptian Goose. So far here, heron nests being stolen by Egyptians hasn't been a problem, but it has caused serious trouble on the island in Regent's Park.

A pair of Herring Gulls were disturbed by a young one which barged in and pecked at one of them. Young gulls often don't respect the order of seniority, and I've seen the same with herons.

The pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull and his mate were together by the Dell restaurant. I wish I could see on to the restaurant roof to know whether she nests there, which I suspect is the case as I often see them with a young one later in the year.

A Jackdaw was cheekily wandering around the place on the roof where the pair like to perch. It would be sent packing if either of them went up.

A Carrion Crow strolled through the daffodils beside the Serpentine, but I think its mind was on more practical matters.

Dismal drizzly weather didn't deter the Blackbird near the Italian Garden from singing.

This Grey Wagtail on the edge of the Serpentine is the one I've been seeing most of recently, not the other, darker one seen yesterday which may be its mate.

When you see a Great Crested Grebe with its shoulders under water it's about to dive. Grebes clench their feathers down before diving to make themselves denser, so they don't have to do so much work to stay submerged. This grebe is also clearly female, as you can see from its very narrow crest. In males it's a broader V shape, though there is a lot of overlap between the sexes and you can't always be sure.

The dominant pair of Mute Swans on the Long Water saw some intruders at the Vista and set out to chase them back under the bridge.

The Mandarin pair returned to the Long Water.

The first martenitsas have appeared. This is a Bulgarian custom: the twists of red and white wool, denoting a man and a woman, are given on 1 March, then hung up in a tree that is coming into blossom or leaf. Sometimes there are actual little male and female dolls. This is supposed to ensure good fortune and fertility. Thanks to Abigail for the picture.


  1. The park is like a living, breathing encyclopedia of life. It's breath-taking.
    I'm worried about the young Heron. I hope it'll be able to catch midges or flies or larvas while its ability to fish picks up.

    1. I'm simply hoping it's reached the stage where, having come down, it can fly up again. This is a normal stage. We'll see tomorrow.