Thursday 6 June 2024

The heron has landed

The young Grey Heron with the broken leg has finally been caught and is now in the care of the Swan Sanctuary at Shepperton, as it happens delivered along with two other herons that had been injured in other parks. Here she is (they discovered she is female) sitting in a pen, with her splinted leg sticking out. Thanks to Ann for the picture.

I don't have any pictures of the rescue because the three of us were too busy finding the bird, which was by the Mute Swans' nest at the Lido restaurant, luring it with sardines, and cornering it. Nick the Wildlife Officer made a successful grab, and after one furious screech it was quiet while we took it to the van and put it in a carrier. It should be all right.

The Little Owl was in the horse chestnut tree at the Round Pond which overlooks the dead tree. He isn't particularly concerned by my daily visits.

A Blackcap fledgling perched in a tree near the Italian Garden. This is a place where Blackcaps have nested in previous years, establishing a tradition carried down by the generations.

Great Tit fledglings chased their parents through the pergola in the Rose Garden. I was giving the parents pine nuts to distribute to their young.

This young Great Tit at the northwest corner of the bridge dared to come to my hand for the first time in its brief life. In fact it came twice, and we shall see more of it.

There was a young Robin by the stairs going up to the bridge.

A Song Thrush sang a couple of phrases in the half-dead holly tree on the other side of the Long Water which is a popular perch for many birds. He was holding a small larva, which didn't interfere with singing.

He was soon joined by his mate, also bringing a larva to a nest hidden somewhere in the scrub.

The single Great Crested Grebe chick on the Long Water swam towards the Italian Garden to find its parents.

The two older chicks on the Serpentine were loudly chasing their father, who had caught a perch. He didn't give it to a chick at first. Perhaps he was trying not to give it to the larger and pushier chick, but I think this was the one that finally succeeded in getting it.

A Coot has built a nest on the boat hire platform, as often happens. Unfortunately it's a hopeless place, as once the chicks drop into the water there's no way they can get up again. One year Mateusz made a little ramp for them, but they weren't bright enough to use it.

This nest made of reeds, just on the Long Water side of the bridge, is well sited and likely to succeed.

The Mute cygnets on the Long Water were enjoying the water jets in the wall of the Italian Garden. Swans seem to love fountains, and the ones on the Round Pond are often seen playing in the spray that fills the pond.

These two Greylag goslings are being looked after by the same parents, but one seems to be more advanced than the other in getting its first proper feathers. Possibly there has been an accidental swap with the nearby pair with one gosling.

A sight of that rare bird the Rubber Duck, Anas elastica, at the Triangle.

The young foxes were sunbathing in in the Dell.

When a cloud covered the sun they started playing instead, and were joined by a parent.

The catmint patch in the Rose Garden attracted a Common Carder bee. I haven't seen its relative the Wool Carder this year, but they are less conspicuous because they are dark rather than ginger.


  1. Thank God, and thank her guardian angels! Very good that she went along putting up minimal resistance. I think female Herons aren't as liberally vicious with their beaks as males are, perhaps.
    What a perfectly spherical, perfectly adorable, teen Robin!

    1. Yes, I thought she would make much more fuss than she did. The heron netted by Mateusz and Jenna to remove a bit of plastic wrapped round its beak struggled like fury. But once firmly gripped, birds do tend to realise that resistance is futile and give up.

  2. Well done to all concerned for rescuing the heron,I bet the parks staff did NOT assist you !!. regards,Stephen..

    1. Nick the Wildlife Officer is actually part of the park staff, and lives in Tyburn Lodge on the edge of the Marble Arch roundabout, a beautiful bijou residence but very noisy.

  3. Anas elastica, love it! Well done for the heron and the foxes are just so cute.. Would love to see the little owl again

    1. The Round Pond Little Owl is regularly visible at the moment. Today, Saturday, I also managed to find the Serpentine Gallery female, as she was calling.