Monday 1 April 2024

How to find worms

A female Blackbird dug vigorously in a flower bed at Mount Gate, looking for worms and insects. They do find them, so the search is better than random -- but I'm not sure how, possibly by smell.

The Coal Tit was waiting here as usual.

A Blackcap looked down from a tree by Magazine Gate.

One of the nesting Long-Tailed Tits at the southwest corner at the bridge was out hunting.

A Carrion Crow perched disrespectfully on Queen Victoria's crown at Kensington Palace.

Pigeon Eater's mate was back in the water with him, so she isn't nesting yet. Someone gave her a crisp.

A Grey Heron scratched its chin in the reed bed east of the Lido ...

... where the Black Swan and his Mute mate were mooching around again.

He shovelled a lot of soggy weed around. He wasn't actually building a nest for his mate. It's a display intended to impress her with his energy. Mute Swans do it too.

Here is the male swan on the Long Water nesting island tossing bits of plants about. His mate has a perfectly good nesting place already.

As usual, on the thirteenth day after the spring equinox the wheat sprouts grown for the Zoroastrian new year festival of Nowruz are thrown into water. It's supposed to be running water, but the water in the lake does move slowly through so it will do. A Coot chewed experimentally at a clump but quickly gave up. Anyone who has tasted the vile 'wheatgrass juice' pressed from this stuff, which has been touted as a health drink, will understand the bird's lack of enthusiasm.

There's an odd lack of big geese on the lake. There are none on the Round Pond. On the Long Water there were none yesterday, though a pair each of Greylags and Canadas showed up this morning. There are about thirty Greylags on the Serpentine, many of which were feeding on the south shore, and fewer Canadas.

But there's no shortage of Egyptian Geese. A pair on the Parade Ground chased off a rival.

The last gosling is still at the Lido.

Sadly but inevitably, the Mallard was down to 10 ducklings when I saw her, from 13 yesterday. She shooed off a Mandarin drake.

There were more Mandarins in the middle of the water.

A clump of pulmonaria at Peter Pan was full of Hairy-Footed Flower Bees.

Many will be aware of Jeremy Vine, the self-publicising cyclist who denounces car drivers on his Twitter feed. But his latest stunt has backfired on him. It was intended to be an April Fool joke, showing him filming himself with a drone that was taken out by a raptor, possibly a Buzzard or a straying Harris Hawk. The footage showed him riding past the Albert Memorial, and a section was inserted to make it look as if the bird snatched the drone.

The snatch may be faked, but the video showing him riding through the park with his drone is real enough, and of course it's illegal to use a drone in the park, and also to use one when you don't have it in your line of sight. Many of the comments point this out; others express satisfaction at his apparent misfortune and hope that the hawk wasn't hurt in the encounter.


  1. Hi Ralph, very happy to see that the gosling is STILL hanging on....NOT so happy about the stunt that Jeremy swine was trying to pull off ..what was he trying to prove THIS time ?.....regards,Stephen.....

    1. Anything for publicity, he lives on it. I don't think he realises that to almost everyone he is a mere figure of fun.

  2. To that I can only say, I wish it had been true. I only hope he'll be 400 pounds the poorer after he gets the proper fine.
    Someone said healthy food doesn't make us live longer, it only makes us think life is too long.

    1. He has been reported to the police by several people. Let's hope they manage to stir themselves into action for once.

      Do not try wheatgrass juice, even as an experiment. The foul taste lingers for hours.