Friday 23 February 2024

Fun with turf

This new turf on the Parade Ground was only laid yesterday, but already the Carrion Crows have made a mess of it by pulling up the squares to find insects and worms underneath. A man was working full time to put the turf back, but there were at least 20 crows and they were winning.

Pied Wagtails were finding insects in it. Their sharp little eyes can also spot tiny larvae on the tarmac path.

The female Little Owl at the Serpentine Gallery came out in the afternoon and stood in the same place as yesterday on the old sweet chestnut tree.

The pair of Long-Tailed Tits at the northwest corner of the bridge were dashing around in the bushes and I didn't get much of a picture.

But there was also a Robin singing very quietly to itself in a bush. It didn't like being filmed, so I only got a still picture.

A Buff-Tailed Bumblebee browsed on a barberry bush ...

... and a Great Tit obligingly posed with the yellow flowers in the background.

Another Great Tit in the forsythia at Mount Gate was also framed in yellow ...

... and a Coal Tit hopped around in a dogwood bush.

The male Grey Heron in the east nest on the island was preening his mate, and it was clear that something was going to happen.

I rushed along the shore to get a clearer view and arrived just in time as they were mating.

So with luck we should have some more chicks in a more visible place. But I do wonder what they see in that nest, which seems far too small by heron standards.

The Black-Headed Gull on the landing stage gave a Herring Gull a hostile look and squawked angrily. Surprisingly, it was the Herring Gull that yielded and flew away.

The male Great Crested Grebe from the nest at the bridge was dozing.

He woke up and stretched his wings.

The killer Mute Swan had tired of parading around the Long Water and went on to the Serpentine, where he amused himself by chasing the other swans.


  1. Killer Swan is a ruthless menace lol. He knows full well what he is doing and is showing once again who is the big boss in town, when it comes to territory and female courting in spring.

    It looks as so them Crows have done that before and know the corner edges of the grass tiles.

  2. I can guess where we are headed with the turf-pulling crows. An autonomous drone will be deployed, programmed to buzz them, perhaps give them light taps or spray something unpleasant but harmless, yet not to cause any nuisance to people.

    Great sequence with the herons. Jim

    1. The turf layers have to out up with this every year, and probably everywhere they go. I think they just curse a bit and get on with the job. The trouble only lasts a few days, and then the grass roots grow down and attach the turf to the ground.