Tuesday, 5 June 2012
The old weeping willow tree overhanging the Long Water at the north end of the bridge has lost one of its main branches, which has fallen into the water. Although it is sad to see this fine old tree in a bad state, the fallen branch may become a useful nesting site for water birds, as the fallen horse chestnut tree farther up the Long Water did, but this is now falling apart and a replacement would be welcome.
The Willow Warbler at the back of the Lido was singing loudly, though out of sight. The pair have been here for some time, and are evidently nesting.
Here a Blue Tit is picking an insect off a twig to give to a fledgeling.
Amid the usual mob of Mute Swans and Greylag and Canada Geese taking food from people on the shore near the Dell restaurant was a very bold female Common Pochard. I gave her some pieces of biscuit and she rushed around pecking me on the ankles for more.
A solitary Black-Headed Gull has appeared on the Long Water. At this time of year it ought to be away with the others, breeding on some inland rubbish dump, but it must have strayed. It is in full breeding plumage. As you can see, its head is not black at all but dark chocolate brown.
The second Grey Herons' nest on the Serpentine island, where there has been a sitting bird for some weeks, was empty. There has been no sign of young birds here, and I think it must have failed. But the brood of eight young Egyptian Geese is still intact, and the young birds are now large enough to be out of danger from gulls.