Sunday 30 April 2023

Song Thrush at the obelisk

A Song Thrush looked for worms and insects in a patch of dead leaves near the Speke obelisk.

A Chaffinch sang on a twig above.

The non-slip matting on the jetty at the Lido is popular with wagtails. Geese standing on it leave droppings which collect in the grooves, attracting insects for the wagtails to catch.

This female Pied Wagtail caught a midge.

The Carrion Crow I saw three days ago hauling a larva out of a patch of wet mud at the Dell was there again today. It must be a rich source of food, as the crow completely ignored a peanut I gave it.

The Grey Heron that normally stands on the handrail of the steps up to the bridge had been displaced by the constant passage of the Sunday crowds and had retreated to a nearby berberis bush. Its injured eye is now completely recovered and it's no longer blinking constantly.

The two young herons have returned from the Round Pond and were on the gravel strip on the Long Water, inspecting a Mallard and a Tufted Duck.

There was just one Cormorant left in the park, and it was farther along the gravel. This picture was taken through the iron railings on the land side of the strip.

Two remarkable pictures from Virginia, taken from the bridge looking down at the Coots' nest. For some time there have been two male Coots around the female, but until now the female's mate has chased the outsider away. But today the two males cooperated in collecting a twig ...

... and bringing it to the nest.

The Mute Swan nesting east of the Lido had a preen and then settled down on her six eggs. She couldn't find a comfortable position, and stood up and turned round before settling again.

The Black Swan seems to have attached itself to another Mute Swan on the Serpentine. I don't think it's his old girlfriend from the Round Pond, as she was retreating when pursued. Eventually he will wear down her resistance with his constant attention.

The eight Egyptian goslings were near the boat hire platform. They eat algae and grass but need extra protein to grow, which they get by catching insects and larvae on the water.

This Egyptian is already moulting at the end of April. They still haven't fully adapted to the northern seasons.

The warm weather brought out plenty of bees. A Common Carder bee -- the first I've seen this year -- worked over a dandelion at the Vista.

A cercis bush in the Rose Garden attracted a Honeybee ...

... and a Buff-Tailed Bumblebee.

The usual Mining Bee preferred a polyanthus.

Saturday 29 April 2023

Song Thrushes singing at each other

A Song Thrush near the Speke obelisk responded to another singing in the distance. It wasn't in full song, just making its presence felt.

A Whitethroat looked down from a tree near the leaf yard.

This is one of a pair of Dunnocks at the northwest corner of the bridge.

There was a Wren in the next bush.

A Starling at the Lido restaurant stole a chip.

A sunny Saturday had brought crowds into the park and the shy Little Owls at the Round Pond had retreated into their hole. A Jackdaw perched on top of their nest tree watching a couple of flies.

A Carrion Crow took a drink from the Huntress fountain. As usual the fountain is broken and the water in it is stagnant, but birds seem to like their water with a bit of flavour.

The two young Grey Herons from the island have been exploring and have discovered the gravel strip in the Round Pond. I don't think it's much of a place for fishing, as the heap of stones under the gravel slopes gradually and there's nowhere for a fish to lurk.

The third young heron, not hatched here but flown in from another park, was sunbathing on the gravel in the Long Water.

The two chicks on the Serpentine island could be seen from across the lake.

A pair of Egyptian Geese on the Round Pond have just hatched ten goslings.

The broods of eight and three on the Serpentine haven't suffered any further losses.

Everything is going well on the Mute Swan nests. This is the dominant pair on the Long Water relaxing on their island.

The Black Swan was cruising near the Dell restaurant.

The Mandarin pair were near the bridge.

There is usually a Dark-Edged Bee Fly in a particular place in the borders in the Rose Garden. I may have been photographing the same one over and over.

A Buff-Tailed Bumblebee gathered pollen on a yellow wallflower, their favourite flower at the moment.

Friday 28 April 2023

Another brood of Egyptian goslings

The female Little Owl came out to the front of her hole in the dead tree by the Round Pond.

Two Great Tits sang and called in trees near the Albert Memorial. Their song is very varied, ranging from one to eleven notes, and each male has his own song.

A Blackcap was singing near the Henry Moore sculpture.

Every time I cross the Flower Walk the dominant Robin is waiting for his treat of pine nuts.

A Wood Pigeon ate the small flowers and new leaves of one of the big copper beeches behind the Albert Memorial.

The Rose-Ringed Parakeets, dangerously visible and exposed to predators in winter, are now well camouflaged again. This picture was taken shortly after a Peregrine zoomed overhead in pursuit of a Feral Pigeon. They eat parakeets too.

Three pigeons were bathing in a puddle near the Italian Garden.

The pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull and his mate were enjoying lunch together at the Dell restaurant.

The two Grey Heron chicks in the third nest on the island are invisible from the near shore, but today I discovered that you can get a very distant view of them from across the lake.

The Great Crested Grebes and Coots are still sharing their nest site, avoiding conflict by completely ignoring each other.

A pair of Egyptian Geese near the boat hire platform have eight new goslings. They are keeping very close to their mother, which will increase the chance of at least some surviving.

The first brood on the lake tend to wander, and are already down from eight to three after raids by Herring Gulls.

A dozen Pochards, all but one of them male, were on the shore at the island. Pochards are normally nervous of humans, but these seemed quite calm.

A Crane Fly, aka Daddy Long-Legs, in the grass near the Round Pond.

Two views of the same Brimstone butterfly in the Rose Garden, on a bluebell ...

... and a Mexican orange bush. Bees tend to stick to one species and colour of flower, but butterflies seem to go for anything with nectar.

The new Serpentine pavilion is going up, and looks to be one of the most attractive ones, a welcome change after last year's dismal black thing. The roof will have big pleats. It's by a Lebanese architect called Lina Ghotmeh.

Thursday 27 April 2023

Egyptian goslings on the Serpentine

A mostly cloudy day with occasional drizzle was graced by the appearance of the male Little Owl at the Round Pond.

A Starling shone against a background of fresh leaves by the leaf yard.

A Wren ran along a twig near the Italian Garden.

A Carrion Crow was digging in a patch of wet mud beside the Dell. It brought up a larva.

Magpies wash in short flurries, flying into the bushes to dry between each dip.

A pair of Feral Pigeons beside the Serpentine preened each other and mated.

There were four Grey Herons by the Henry Moore sculpture. I think the top and bottom one are the pair that are vaguely thinking of nesting near the bridge. The other two are the young ones from the first nest on the island.

The herons in the third nest were adding twigs to it. This is an odd split-level nest and these adults were on the upper level. The two chicks were at the lower level at the back of the nest and will be almost impossible to see until they get larger and start climbing around.

A heron on the shore thought it would be best to move out of reach of a Mute Swan that arrived with wings menacingly raised.

The huge Coot nest at the Dell restaurant has been rebuilt, an annual event. The structure is a good three feet tall, resting on the bottom.

Zooming out shows that the foundations include a lot of soggy restaurant menus.

The Black Swan has flown down from the Round Pond to the Serpentine. He hasn't brought his girlfriend.

Six Egyptian goslings have been hatched. They wandered along the shore near the small boathouses.

There was quite a mob of Egyptians along the shore.

A dark vixen rushed out of the Dell and trotted off in the direction of the Cavalry Memorial. Someone told me he had seen cubs in the bushes at the top of the Dell.

Flowers and new leaves on one of the big copper beeches behind the Albert Memorial.