Monday 3 June 2024

Better heron news

Sorry today's post is a bit late, but there's a good reason. The young Grey Heron that I thought was dead yesterday is alive.

It was lying on the baskets where I saw it yesterday, but not in the same place.

Closer inspection showed that it was conscious, and moving slightly.

I called for help and Jon Ferguson promised to come over. While I was waiting for him to arrive I went off to take some pictures, and when I came back to meet him it had moved. We found it standing on the shore, so clearly it could still fly. But it was being harassed by one of the adults from the second nest at the east end of the island and took off and landed on a post -- but as you can see, it has a broken leg.

Jon enticed it back on to the shore with sardines, which will help to keep it going till he can come back in the morning with a net and take it to be attended to. Simple fractures can usually be fixed with splints, so the prospect is hopeful.

The other heron's belligerent behaviour -- here it is also attacking some Carrion Crows -- can be explained.

Its mate is in the nest looking after two very young chicks.

In other news, the Egyptian Geese from the Italian Garden have four goslings. Their mother took them to the Mute Swans' nesting island -- the swans were away begging at Peter Pan.

Their father surveyed the scene from the parapet.

The Egyptians at the Round Pond still have their seven goslings.

Also at the pond, two young Pied Wagtails hunted on the gravel strip. This is heavily coated with goose droppings so it attracts a lot of insects, which is why the wagtails had chosen this noisome place.

There was a Coots' nest at each end of the strip.

Ahmet Amerikali sent a fine picture of one of the cygnets on the Serpentine riding on its mother's back ...

... and another of a young Long-Tailed Tit at the bridge.

Several Chaffinches, presumably a family, were flying around the horse chestnut trees on the east side of the Italian Garden. A male carrying a caterpillar landed on a branch. I thought he was going to give it to a fledgling, but he ate it himself.

A Chiffchaff called as it bounced about in the dead hawthorn near the Henry Moore sculpture. The very loud call at 5 seconds is a Cetti's Warbler.

A Lesser Black-Backed Gull trying to finish the remains of one of Pigeon Killer's victims had lively competition from a Carrion Crow. The crow won at the end of a long contest.

A young Moorhen on the shore by the Serpentine island was old enough to find its own food but was still following its mother.

A Holly Blue butterfly landed on a bramble leaf near the Vista.


  1. Hi Ralph, what a remarkable bit of news about the heron. !..(lets hope it can get the help it needs!)..maybe you should name him/her Lazarus ?!...good that all the goslings are surviving too !!.. there has been some excitement up here, with the sighting of a BLACK kite on the wirral !...lovely pic of the butterfly..regards,Stephen.

  2. What excellent news! Best thing that happened all day.
    Cettis seem to take it personally if someone other than them can be remotely heard in their vicinity.

    1. Many of my videos have been audiobombed by Cettis, in the nicest possible way.

    2. I've wondered if they are our loudest birds? Louder than wrens I think

    3. Much louder than Wrens, certainly. I can't think of any louder call, though I wonder how far the sound of flying Mute Swans carries in the unobstructed upper air.

    4. I'm going to have to get a decibel meter on my phone

    5. No use, even if there is one. You'd have to be a constant distance away,

  3. Good luck with the heron, that's a nice thing to do. Amazing footage of crow vs gull, would never have thought that a crow could pull that off