Sunday, 28 November 2021

The one and only Mistle Thrush on Buck Hill waited in a plane tree for a visit to eat rowan fruit. Even when they aren't in a flock they have this habit of making a quick raid on a fruit tree and then flying away to digest their pickings. Maybe this behaviour makes them less exposed to predators that might be watching the fruit tree.

However, when it landed it found a Magpie on another branch. It glanced round nervously.

The female Chaffinch in the Flower Walk is getting very familiar and nearly came to Neil's hand. Several years ago there was a Chaffinch in the leaf yard that could be hand fed.

There is no difficulty in hand feeding the confident Coal Tit. Indeed, it follows you along the path asking for more.

A Long-Tailed Tit was backlit in the bushes near Peter Pan.

The Grey Wagtail on the Serpentine found a small larva in the fallen leaves.

A pair of Carrion Crows perched in the top of a twisty tree near the Italian Garden.

Crows ate the remains of the pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull's breakfast. He had had enough, and let them get on with it. He is getting milder as he ages -- except towards pigeons.

The sunlight made a rainbow in a fountain in the Italian Garden.

Behind it, a Grey Heron stood on the edge of a pool. Herons are usually very shy birds, but the ones in the park are accustomed to humans and take no notice of them unless they seem to have food. (And yes, I did ask the parents of the little girl if I could show this video.)

The heron at the Dell restaurant looked up eagerly as some people arrived at a table on the terrace.

Several young Herring Gulls in turn picked up a banana skin, decided it wasn't good to eat, and dropped it.

A young Cormorant gazed severely at a pair of Moorhens on the little island in the Long Water.

A Moorhen at the edge of the Serpentine looked rather fine in the low winter sunshine.

The two young Great Crested Grebes on the Long Water hung out together. They are now completely independent, and when their parent caught a fish in the background they didn't react.

Pochards appear and disappear on the Long Water. I think they're always there, but spend a lot of their time hidden in the bushes. Once this autumn I counted 21 of them, but have never seen as many again. Often you see none at all.

Saturday, 27 November 2021

The stormy wind is still blowing, and chilly drizzle made it a horrible day. But the single Mistle Thrush on Buck Hill -- the autumn migrants still haven't reach the park -- was in a hawthorn tree.

The Blackbirds have eaten all the hawthorn berries, so it flew to the nearby rowan. I was making it nervous, so it wouldn't eat the fruit till I went away and left it in peace.

There was also a Blue Tit in the rowan, looking for insects among the berries.

A small flock of Long-Tailed Tits were chasing each other around an oak tree lower down the hill. One stayed still for just long enough for a quick shot.

Neil also found a Blue Tit ...

... and a Great Tit among the violent violet berries on a Beautyberry bush in the Flower Walk.

Another pleasing picture by Neil, of a female Chaffinch on one of the yew hedges in the walk.

The Grey Wagtail that lives on the Serpentine was on the island. It's exceptionally well camouflaged and I only saw it because it was calling.

Then it moved to the east end of the lake and ran along the edge of the surf looking for small edible creatures washed ashore.

There was a pair of Pied Wagtails at the edge of the Round Pond.

They were searching for food in the spray carried ashore by the waves, though they could hardly keep their footing in the wind.

A Magpie looked for food in a bin at the Diana fountain, found none because there were few people in the park, and relieved its disappointment by pecking at the plastic liner.

A Grey Heron at the island stoically endured the wind and rain on a post ...

... but the young one at the Vista took shelter behind the Henry Moore sculpture.

A pair of Herring Gulls moaned affectionately, waved leaves at each other, and went around together on the edge of the Serpentine. We've seen this pair before, always devoted to each other.

The Polish Black-Headed Gull T4UN, who crosses the stormy North Sea twice a year, wasn't bothered by the weather ...

... but a Mute Swan, tired of being bounced around on the waves, came ashore to rest.

Friday, 26 November 2021

A day of sunshine and showers, with a sharp wind getting up in the afternoon. A Great Tit in the Rose Garden ignored the November chill and sang from a bush.

The regular Grey Wagtail visited the Italian Garden ...

... and a Pied Wagtail ran along the shore at the Lido.

The Rose-Ringed Parakeets are fond of the fruit of these Japanese Crabapple trees near the bridge. They wait till it's ripe, but it still must be pretty sour compared to the apples the visitors give them.

Feral Pigeons showed no respect at all for the statue of the goddess Diana in the Rose Garden.

The male Peregrine was on the barracks tower, but flew off as I approached, so all I got was a distant shot.

The tower may be hideous, but its reflection makes a striped background for a Cormorant on the Long Water.

Another Cormorant dried its wings at the island.

A Grey Heron perched on a post near the bridge, keeping an eye on the wire baskets where there are always plenty of fish.

Black-Headed Gulls perched on a dead tree in the Long Water.

One of the teenage Great Crested Grebes surfaced near the Italian Garden.

The strong west wind made fair-sized waves at the east end of the Serpentine. A Moorhen was not troubled by them.

A flock of grazing Greylag Geese always appoints one member to keep a lookout while the others have their heads down.

Thursday, 25 November 2021

A beautiful sunny cold day, but not much was going on. As usual, Long-Tailed Tits were on their endless search for insects ...

... and so was a Goldcrest in the Rose Garden. These tiny birds can only just avoid starvation through the winter, but a run of mild winters with little frost has allowed their numbers to increase.

A Wood Pigeon struggled for balance while eating holly berries.

After yesterday's murky image of a Jay in the afternoon gloom, a good bright picture from Neil.

Another of Neil's pictures. Rose-Ringed Parakeets may be a serious pest, but they are very fine looking creatures.

Yes, we've had a lot of videos of Pied Wagtails recently and probably you're getting bored with them. But they are such pretty little birds and look so good against a background of autumn leaves that I can't resist filming them.

The odd couple of a Lesser Black-Backed Gull and a Herring Gull strutted around together, moaned affectionately at each other, and toyed with a twig at the Lido. Very closely related species, they can have fertile offspring, and possibly some of what seem to be very light-coloured Lesser Black-Backs are actually hybrids.

A Lesser Black-Back stared down from an urn in the Italian Garden.

The Black-Headed Gull with the plastic ring 28P1 did its best to conceal its identity ...

... but the ring could be read through the water.

When a Grey Heron is stands patiently in one place for a long time, it usually has something in mind. This one at the Henry Moore sculpture is waiting for a rat to look out from the hedge ...

... and this one on the small willow at the Triangle car park is waiting for a human to turn up and start chucking bits of bread about -- which happens a lot there as people are too idle to walk any distance along the shore.

A Cormorant shone in the sunlight at Peter Pan.

The two youngest Great Crested Grebe teenagers, hatched in late summer on the Long Water, fish together. This increases their chance of a catch, since a fish frightened by one may flee towards the other. They are still not catching much, but seem to be in perfectly good shape and I think they have turned the corner to survival.

An adult in the evening light.

The dominant male Mute Swan at the east end of the Serpentine was amusing himself by beating up the other swans.

A pair of Gadwalls browsed peacefully at the Lido.