Tuesday, 9 January 2018

The pale Egyptian Goose who appeared at the Round Pond quacked, revealing that she is female. Males make a hoarse panting sound.

Several Shovellers gyrated on the pond.

On the Serpentine, the distant prospect of spring is prompting the Mute Swans to bully each other.

But the white Mallard was enjoying a quiet time with his mate and the spare drake. The two males never seem to quarrel.

A Wren ran around under the balcony of the Dell restaurant and ventured out on to the water, supported by floating leaves.

There was a pair of Dunnocks in the Rose Garden, one rummaging in a flower bed ...

... and the other perched above it on a bush.

The Rose-Ringed Parakeets are completely monopolising the remaining feeder ...

... but the one in the Dell has a cage around it, excluding larger birds, so this Coal Tit can feed in peace.

A Song Thrush in a nearby tree practised a few notes.

There's always an awkward moment when two Robins come out to feed at once -- will there be a fight? In this case an uneasy truce held for long enough for both to collect some pine nuts.

In the Italian Garden a Grey Heron waded into a mob of feeding Feral Pigeons, grabbed their food, and was disappointed to find that it was just a slice of soggy white bread.

The Little Owl in the oak tree near the Albert Memorial has been restless for the past few days. I saw her walking past the entrance to her hole before she came out briefly to stare at me.

The owl in the lime tree near the Henry Moore sculpture was undisturbed by four people pointing binoculars at her. She is much less nervous than she used to be.


  1. I have missed reading reports on swans' antics. They are very entertaining bullies.

    That Wren is positively apostle-like, walking on water (well, leaves) like that.

    I didn't know you could tell female from male Egyptians by thei quack! Always something to learn in Ralph's blog.

  2. No doubt the swans will get more and more badly behaved as the days lengthen.

  3. Once met a woman in North Wales who bred ducks for eggs, so with every batch of new ducks she had to separate the ducks from the drakes - it not being worth raising the drakes. In a dark barn, she was able to separate the sexes by sound. All I heard was loud quacking. (By the way, the friend I was visiting took 6 drakes home; 5 of them - last seen swimming in a small brook by his house - disappeared one by one, probably eaten by foxes. The last made friends with a local horse , and was safe).

    1. How does a horse protect a duck from foxes? (A question I really thought I'd never find myself asking.)

    2. I think just by being too big for a fox to approach. The duck stayed very close to him.

    3. As Noam Chomsky said, one of the miracles of language is that anyone can always come up with an original and unprecedented sentence. Except Dan Brown and Jeffrey Archer, of course.