Sunday 12 May 2024

Singing in the shade

A hot day and the Sunday crowds kept most of the small birds in the bushes, but in the Rose Garden a Wren, shaded from the sun in the shrubbery, sang loudly at a rival in a nearby bush.

A Blackbird in the Dell sang one phrase listlessly and lapsed into silence.

When I was photographing Honeybees at work on a blossoming cockspur hazel bush at Mount Gate ...

...who should emerge from the flowers but the trusty Coal Tit, which I hadn't seen for several days.

Ahmet Amerikali got a fine picture of a Long-Tailed Tit in the Rose Garden bringing insects to the nest.

Pigeon Eater's mate returned to the east end of the Serpentine and must have chased off the young Lesser Black-Backed Gull, as it was nowhere to be seen. I didn't see Pigeon Eater himself.

A Grey Heron fished from a planter in the Italian Garden.

The nets of straw put in the fountains to try to keep down algae may not have any effect, but they do provide a handy perch for the Coot chicks.

Someone must have thrown this traffic cone off the bridge. Luckily it missed the Coots' nest. Now it provides a strange ornament.

Also here, a couple of beer bottles gave an Egyptian Goose family a raffish look.

The family with the four ill-assorted goslings cruised past, luckily without causing a territorial dispute.

The fenced-off path provided a quiet resting place for a pair of Gadwalls.

There's one new Greylag gosling with the other families on the south shore of the Serpentine.

The Canada Geese with five goslings were at the Lido.

The Black Swan was at the far end of the reed bed to the east, where he had made an unsuccessful nesting attempt with his ex-girlfriend.

Two of the killer Mute Swan's offspring found a clear path between the massed pedalos to take off.

A Large White butterfly browsed on an allium flower.


  1. I didn't know raffish was a word. I think the traffic cone on the coots nest in by far my favourite ever picture of a coot! I saw two hybrid geese on the lake yesterday by the boathouses.

    1. Two hybrid geese, I hadn't known we had more than one at the moment.

  2. Coots may not be the cutest but their nest building antics make them so endearing. Love the beer bottles photo too. I can’t help feeling sorry for the lonely Black Swan.

  3. I wish we could introduce the Black Swan to the single female in St James's Park. She used to be here and knows the way back, if only we could get through to her. We need an Australian swan whisperer.

    1. Where did this black swan come from, by the way?

    2. I do wonder what the niche is of Black Swans that has enabled a feral breeding population to become established, alongside Mute Swans. It's harder to fathom than for say Egyptian Geese and Mandarin Ducks. Jim

    3. No one knows where the Black Swan came from, but he seems to be from the feral population. He behaved like a wild bird when he arrived, though he soon picked up the park begging habit.

      Black Swans are quite fierce and punch above their weight. There was a fear that when the feral population appeared they would drive out Mute Swans, but in the event that was unjustified.

  4. Do you reckon the coots moved and placed the cone on their nest?

    1. No, those cones are quite heavy, too much even for Coots to shift, and offer nothing to hold on to.

  5. Don't tell me they dragged the traffic cone back to the nest. Evil geniuses, they are.
    The two swans looks like they are walking on water. What a wonderful picture.
    I would have gasped audibly, had been photographing a bee only to be photobombed by our old friend the Coal Tit!

    1. It was a very welcome photobombing. I hadn't seen the Coal Tit for days and was missing it.