Tuesday 16 May 2023

Starling chicks

Three Starling chicks looked out of the hole in the plane tree next to the small boathouses.

Their mother arrived to feed them, and as usual shouted furiously from the edge of the hole before leaving. You wouldn't think she would want to advertise the location of the nest. However, the chicks can be safe by retreating farther down the hole if danger threatens.

Another video from Andrew Skeet of the Jays' nest by his window sill. A week after hatching the chicks have their eyes open and are growing feathers all over.

The Great Tit chicks in the old iron pump have grown a lot. There seem to be six of them, but this is a very difficult place to view, let alone get a photograph.

Their mother looked out of the hole before flying off to get more food. Both parents collect pine nuts from me when I visit, and don't seem to mind me taking pictures -- they just squeeze past when flying in and out.

Ahmet Amerikali got a good picture of a young Long-Tailed Tit at Southwark Park.

I haven't seen any more here since I photographed one a week ago, though today I did get a shot of a parent bringing a larva to the nest near the Henry Moore sculpture.

Another picture by Ahmet, a Reed Warbler under the parapet of the Italian Garden.

There was the sound of a young Grey Heron clattering its bill in a new place on the island, out of sight at the west end. This is not the nest that was sporadically occupied by the heron with the red bill, who was on a post. If there were chicks in this nest you'd be able to see them from the shore.

There are now three Coot chicks showing in the big nest with two females at the bridge -- there may be more out of sight. I think the chick on the right, and shown in close up at the end of the video, is the one that was having such a struggle hatching yesterday. It was in the place where the egg was, and being looked after by the second female.

Two Coot chicks were visible in the twin nests east of the Lido, but the Great Crested Grebes in the other nest are still sitting on eggs.

Five more Greylag goslings have just hatched on the Serpentine. They followed their mother next to the island.

One of the Greylag pairs I saw with two goslings yesterday had three today, the extra one evidently having wandered in from another pair. They are surprisingly vague about whose is whose, but usefully this means that strays aren't rejected.

The brood of eleven Egyptian goslings in still intact, and they were grazing under the willows on the south shore of the Serpentine.

The seven at the boat hire platform were also in good order.

The Mallard on the south shore still has four ducklings ...

... and the other by the Diana fountain reed bed is hanging on to seven.


  1. I don't dare entertain hope but - goslings seem to be holding on for longer than in previous years, don't day?
    What a wonderful little video of the Jay nest. Very good to see that yesterday's struggling Coot chick finally managed to pop out of the shell. Hope it'll grow up to be as much of a bickering, building machine as its elders.

    1. I'm very surprised by the success of the Egyptians, normally rather careless parents. I'm sure the big families will lose some but they all stand a good chance of getting a fair number through.

      Very happy to see the little Coot survive. But I have no idea how long they usually take to bash their way out of the shell.