Monday 5 February 2024

The first Egyptian goslings

Today's main news is that the first Egyptian goslings of the year have come out in the freezing wind on the Round Pond. They soon went to shelter under their mother.

One of the Egyptians in the Italian Garden was having a shower in the marble fountain.

There's still no sight of the chicks in the Grey Herons' nest on the Serpentine island, but they must be there as their parents are guarding the nest at all times. It's a hard place to see anything, and when the hawthorn blossom is out it will be next to impossible.

Two different plum trees coming into flower beside the lake attracted hungry Wood Pigeons. I think both trees are Cherry Plums, or Myrobalans, Prunus cerasifera.

A Carrion Crow digging for worms among the daffodils by the Serpentine Road was rudely pushed away twice by a Grey Squirrel.

At Mount Gate a Jay waited to be fed ...

... and so did a Robin ...

... a Blue Tit ...

... and a Coal Tit, all in the same holly tree ...

... with a Song Thrush singing on the top.

Aconites have come out by the gate.

I haven't seen Redwings on the Parade Ground for two days, and it looks as if they have left after an unusually brief stay. The only small birds here were Pied Wagtails.

The Peregrines were together on the tower from 12 to 3 pm, maybe longer.

A mob of Black-Headed Gulls and a few others followed the tractor harrowing the surface of the Parade Ground in preparation for laying new turf. They were, of course, looking for worms turned up by the harrow.

A pair of Herring Gulls preferred more conventional methods. They did the worm dance together in the enclosure of the Diana fountain, where the expensive turf harbours plenty of worms.

The pair of Lesser Black-Backs were side by side on the Long Water raft.

You have to admire Moorhens. They will explore anything, however, foul, for something they consider edible -- which is most things. This one was in the noxious debris washed up against one of the boathouses.

All birds seem to enjoy the sensation of water running over their feet. A Mallard drake stood on the edge of the Dell waterfall.


  1. Hi Ralph, how lovely to see some Egyptian goslings...they ARE lovely looking birds....I watched ALL of your films today..good to see the PEGS showing well for so long as well, regards Stephen.....

  2. I often wonder where they go in foul weather. There may be a place in the complicated Spence folly on top of the tower that gives them shelter.

  3. I wonder what the squirrel was guarding among the daffodils, and I am sure that crow will not now give up at least until he excavates it. Or might the squirrel be one jump ahead and pretending there's an issue with anywhere a crow digs in the area?

    In the harrowing clip there are some Common Gulls, two glide in from the right at 0.05, possibly there are 1-2 more near the Lesser Black-back, and I think that is a Herring Gull that takes off left of the tractor at 0.09, wheels around and back down. Jim

    1. Yes, it's surprising to see so much attention to that spot. Whatever it is, it's not a daffodil bulb. There are 100.000 of those in this strip, planted a few years ago by gangs of schoolchildren, and neither species eats them.

      You were certainly watching that gull video attentively on a big screen -- thank you.

  4. Don't want to get my hopes up with the goslings. They're so pretty. Sigh.
    The tractor scene is quite common here, although you'd have cattle egrets and storks rather than gulls!

    1. Cattle egrets and storks would make a more impressive show. I think that now nowhere in Britain is without at least Black-Headed Gulls. They aren't 'seagulls' any more, they are ubiquitous and capable general scavengers.