Saturday 17 February 2024

Bright Goldcrest

A Goldcrest in full breeding plumage with a brilliant orange-yellow crest looked out of a variegated holly tree at the northwest corner the bridge.

At the southwest corner there was a view from the parapet of Long-Tailed Tits bustling around in a tree.

Unfazed by tractors passing near them and the noise of a demonstration and a police helicopter overhead, Redwings were still hunting worms under the trees on the Parade Ground. (I've turned the sound right down on this video, as it was appalling.)

The Peregrines were on the tower. This is just the female, as her mate had his back turned and you could only see his tail.

A pair of Lesser Black-Backed Gulls on the Long Water saw another Lesser Black-Back circling high overhead. They called a warning, then one of them took off and patrolled the air over their territory. This pair have been seen on the raft here, and it seems quite likely that they'll nest on it, which would explain why they've become defensive.

The pigeon-eating gull was also feeling territorial, as his mate was with him. He trotted around his territory making sure there were no other big gulls on it. He ignores the smaller Black-Headed Gulls, which he doesn't see as rivals.

This is not a good video. You can hardly see the Grey Herons' nest through the plum blossom. But if you look below and slightly to the left of centre, where there's a gap, you can just see movement. This is the first sight we've had of a chick in the nest, although for some days it has been clear from the parents' behaviour that there was at least one.

The other heron of the pair was preening in the next tree.

The nest at the west end of the island had just one heron in it, but we now know there's a pair here and can stop worrying about the plight of the widowed bird.

There are quite a lot of herons now: six on the Serpentine including the unattached heron and the teenager, and four on the Long Water. Three of these were on the big fallen poplar at the Vista ...

... and one on the dead willow at the Italian Garden.

It really is amazing how many perch there still are at the north end of the Long Water, where Cormorants have been hauling them out by the dozen for months. Ahmet Amerikali photographed a Cormorant ...

... and a Great Crested Grebe with their catch.

The Egyptian Geese on the Round Pond are still managing to keep their last gosling alive.

A pair displayed noisily in a tree on the Parade Ground.

Three more rested under the weeping willows on the south side of the Serpentine, which are already beginning to come into leaf.

The mild spell which caused this has ended and it was quite chilly again, but this didn't deter the Buff-Tailed Bumblebees browsing on the Chinese Barberry at the bridge.


  1. Fantastic image of the Cormorant with the Perch fish.

    1. And also a lovely shot of the Goldcrest, looking dapper.

  2. How elegant and handsome, that Goldcrest! (if you can call 'handsome' such a tiny teeny thing. Perhaps 'pretty' is better').
    Congratulations on capturing the first glimpse of the little dinosaur. Baby herons look so funny, I hope it will soon be popping up that dishevelled, dinosaur head of his so we can have a good look.

    1. It's a particularly invisible nest, not just because of the blossom but because it's very deep and there' are trees in front of it so you can only view it from one awkward angle. We may have to wait till the chick (or better, chicks) grows up more and starts climbing around.

  3. Delightful photo of the Goldcrest surveying his kingdom.

    Seeing your photos of the Cormorant with the perch reminded me of a photo on the local wildlife FB site which showed a dead immature Cormorant in the nearby canal with a Perch fin sticking out of its bill-no doubt choked on its prospective lunch-an unfortunate end for both.

    I did see something similar before the pandemic when there was a washed up Shag on Scilly with a large fish stuck in its mouth.

    1. I saw a Grey Heron in the Dell trying to swallow an adult Moorhen, which stuck. It lurched into the shrubbery and I never saw what happened eventually.