Tuesday, 29 March 2016

A couple of days ago there were hundreds of Black-Headed Gulls in the park. Today there was just one on the Serpentine. Although they arrive for the winter over several weeks, when they feel it's time to go they leave in a body -- except for one dissenter. This is remarkable because they are going to different places, some overseas as far north as Finland, others simply to British landfill sites.

The dominant swans on the Long Water were busy with their nest on the artificial island.

This allowed another invasion by the Mute Swans from the Serpentine. The Black Swan and his girlfriend penetrated all the way to the gravel bank in front of the Henry Moore statue, which is normally a resting place for the dominant pair. This picture was taken by Paul Turner.

Later, the male of the pair came down to clear off the intruders, but there were a lot and he could only chase off some of them in one pass.

The recent high winds and waves have not destroyed the Great Crested Grebes' nest near the bridge, which was evidently made with a solidity unusual in a grebes' nest.

Two pairs of Mallards were resting high up the trunk of the nearby willow. They must manage to fly in through the branches somehow, as the climb seems well beyond a Mallard's ability.

There was a violent storm with large hailstones splashing into the lake, which a Canada Goose stoically endured ...

... and some sunny intervals which allowed a bee to browse among the white hyacinths in the Italian Garden.

Update: David Element writes that this is a male Hairy-Footed Flower Bee, Anthophora plumipes. Females are black in this dimorphic species.

A pair of Dunnocks were hopping around near the ticket office at the Lido. There have been Dunnocks here for years, but recent savage pruning of the bushes has made these shy birds more visible than they would like.

Several Green Woodpeckers were calling in Kensington Gardens near the bridge. This picture is by Mike Meilack.

The Little Owl in the lime tree near the Henry Moore was calling too.


  1. Lovely picture of the Little Owl! Such a little (if noisy) beauty.

    1. Nothing compared to the racket our parakeets make.