Wednesday, 9 May 2012
At least 20 House Martins, the largest number so far seen this year. They were at the east end of the Serpentine, where they usually congregate when they are nesting at the French embassy, so with luck they should be able to re-establish themselves this year and begin to build up their numbers to former levels.
The Swifts are also back in large numbers, whirling and screaming all over the other parts of the lake. I couldn't see any Swallows in the throng.
There were many family groups of Long-Tailed Tits ranging around the bushes. The young birds perch on twigs waiting for their parents to bring them food. But while they are sitting still they attract the attntion of hungry Magpies, and two of the families were mobbing and scolding the predators. It seemed to work, as in both cases the Magpies flew away.
Coming back past Pater Pan, I was visited by a Carrion Crow demanding a biscuit. There is now a small family here and around the Italian Garden, several of whom will take food from your hand.
Crows are generally rather nervous birds, aware that human hands might grab them, and it has taken them some time to build up their confidence.