Monday, 1 January 2018

A female Chaffinch was hopping around in the leaf yard.

Chaffinches are getting quite rare in the park, and Greenfinches even rarer. Both have been hit by disease. But the number of Goldfinches is increasing.

So is the number of Rose-Ringed Parakeets, not really a welcome development. It's only recently that they have extended their territory to the east end of Hyde Park, and they are now monopolising the feeders in the Rose Garden ...

... making life difficult for the resident pair of Coal Tits, which have to wait in a tree and dash down in the short time when the parakeets are away.

A few Long-Tailed Tits passed through the Rose Garden.

This Robin in the Dell has only just started coming out to be fed.

This is a longstanding customer at the back of the Lido. The bright red breast is surprisingly inconspicuous when they are on the ground amid dead leaves.

A Herring Gull doing the worm dance is a familiar sight. But this one was being mimicked by a Black-Headed Gull -- the first time I have seen one of this species doing the dance.

The second pigeon-killing Lesser Black-Backed Gull was patrolling the shore of the Serpentine at the Triangle car park, his usual territory. There are plenty of pigeons here because visitors come to feed the birds but often can't be bothered to walk far from their parked car.

A Cormorant preening on a fallen tree in the Long Water found the perch uncomfortable and hopped gracelessly on to another. It's remarkable that they can grip such thin branches with their webbed feet.

As usual there was a Grey Heron on each of the nests on the island, with their mates standing nearby.

Herons share nest duty, so presumably even when they are not breeding they take turns to occupy the nest site while the other heron goes fishing.

A Great Crested Grebe preened under the bridge.

A female Shoveller at the Vista demonstrated how remarkably water-repellent a duck's feathers are. The water just rolls off in one piece.


  1. Happy New Year Ralph! You showed me around the park in spring 2016, and ever since I've been enjoying learning about the birds in my own yard, so thank you again. I happen to be in town through tomorrow and would love to say hello and join you for a reprise if it wouldn't be an imposition!

    1. Meet you at the south end of the Serpentine bridge at 10.30 am.

  2. The Black-Headed Gull aping the Herring Gull's worm dance is so charming. Did it get any worm? I've never seen them dance either.

    Well, if Cormorants can put their clumsy webbed feet to such unexpectedly good use, perhaps the same can be said of swans? I recall our collective puzzlement about how they could have got into the fountain.

    1. I didn't see the Black-Headed Gull get a worm or anything else. The Herring Gull got several small creatures while I was watching. Perhaps small gulls can't patter loudly enough. I did get the impression that the BHG was deliberately copying the other bird, which it glanced at from time to time.