Sunday, 23 January 2022

The Winter Wasteland funfair has at last been taken down and the wall around it has gone, exposing a vast area of desolation, which is fenced off to be returfed. Birds are already returning to this safe area. Here is the first Redwing to arrive ...

... with some Long-Tailed Tits and some Goldfinches twittering in the treetops.

A Great Spotted Woodpecker climbed about in a tree on the edge of the Wasteland. You can hear Goldfinches in the surrounding trees.

A Pied Wagtail ran over the bare ground and heaps of earth, looking for insects and small worms. The sound in the background is a flock of Starlings doing the same.

Starlings gathered in the trees and flew down to look for insects and worms on the ruined grass.

At the bridge, a Great Tit ate a pine nut I had given it.

A Carrion Crow searched for food under the trees near the Dell ...

... where a pair of Egyptian Geese were grazing.

The Egyptians didn't like this.

A Grey Heron and a Cormorant managed to share the fallen horse chestnut tree in the Long Water without a fight breaking out.

Another heron posed on an urn in the Italian Garden. When they do this, visitors often think they're artificial ornaments.

A pair at the island displayed on their nest.

The dominant Black-Headed Gull at the Diana fountain landing stage stared aggressively at the camera.

One of the teenage Great Crested Grebes finished preening and had a flap to settle its wings.

A pair of Gadwalls cruised briskly up the Serpentine with their eyes shut. They must have had them open on the other side.

Saturday, 22 January 2022

Robins are singing and chasing each other everywhere, still excited by the false dawn of spring although the weather is now much colder. Two were having a song duel in the Rose Garden ...

... and this one was pursuing a possible mate in a bush at the foot of Buck Hill.

This is our local female Kestrel in a tree higher up the hill.

A frosty morning brought out the Coal Tits in the Flower Walk ...

... and here is Neil's picture of the confident Blue Tit that will come to your hand.

There is another bold Blue Tit at the bridge, but I haven't got a picture of it yet.

One of the Grey Wagtails was hunting in the Italian Garden.

The other was looking for insects among the washed-up debris on the edge of the Dell restaurant terrace. Mute Swans preen here, so a lot of white feathers are lying about.

Rose-Ringed Parakeets clustered in a treetop at the leaf yard, ridiculously visible in the bare branches where they are so well hidden in summer.

The fenced-off areas here, soon to be returned to public use, is a complete bog at the lower end. I don't know what the park people intend to do about this, or indeed whether they have noticed. In the meantime it's a place for a Carrion Crow to explore the mud.

A Grey Heron stalked along the brambles at the edge of the Long Water, a hunting ground that offers the chance of a fish in the water or a rat on the land.

The Black-Headed Gull with Bill Haines's ring EZ73323 stubbornly kept his place on the notice beside the Serpentine.

A young Cormorant, still with a whitish front, flapped its wings steadily to dry them on the little swan island in the Long Water.

Two pairs of Great Crested Grebes disputed territories at the Serpentine island. This happens every year and eventually an invisible frontier is agreed on halfway along the island.

Both the rabbits were out beside the Henry Moore statue. Someone on my YouTube channel commented that more should be introduced so that they can start breeding again, but where do you get wild rabbits?

Friday, 21 January 2022

Three Robins in the Rose Garden looked for worms, perched in the bushes, and sang.

A Grey Wagtail searched for insects in the debris on the shore at the Dell restaurant.

A Magpie bathed in the little stream in the Dell.

On the path, two Carrion Crows were making a squirrel bow down to them. It remained in that attitude until they flew away.

A Wood Pigeon had a drink in the lake.

A Great Tit looked out from yellow stems near the bridge.

A Black-Headed Gull had a brisk wash, yawned and flew off.

The gull on the landing stage is still keeping it clear of all other birds.

One of the teenage Great Crested Grebes had been preening, and did the typical grebe shrug to settle its feathers.

A pair of Coots were messing around at the Serpentine outflow. It looks as if they have started to build yet another doomed nest on top of the weir. Who knows, this year it might actually succeed, as happened last year against all expectations with the Coot nest on the post at Peter Pan.

A Moorhen perched on a nymph's weathered head in the Italian Garden.

Greylag Geese disturbed by a dog flew to the Serpentine ...

... and splashed down.

A squirrel ate hazel catkins.

It seems that the hapless Prince Andrew has been deserted even by his 25 teddy bears, who are living rough in Kensington Gardens.

A welcome bit of colour on a grey day: Julia took this lovely picture of a Kingfisher on the Glamorganshire Canal in the Long Wood nature reserve near Cardiff.

Thursday, 20 January 2022

A Dunnock in the red-stemmed dogwood bushes at the Lido found a small larva.

A Grey Wagtail ran along the edge of the lake.

A Wren fluffed itself up against the cold.

Long-Tailed Tits hunted in the top of a hawthorn tree.

A Green Woodpecker called on Buck Hill ...

... where there were three Jays flying down to snatch peanuts from my hand. Almost all the Jays in the park are doing this now.

As soon as the smallest green shoots appear, a Wood Pigeon will turn up to eat them.

At the Dell restaurant, throwing food in the air drew a screaming crowd of Black-Headed Gulls.

On the ground below the pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull was plotting his next move.

The three Grey Heron nests on the island are still steadily occupied. One bird has been seen sitting down, but probably it only wanted a rest.

One of the herons flew down for a drink.

Two of their mates, freed from nest duty, stood on the roof of one of the small boathouses.

A young Cormorant took a break from fishing on the little island in the Long Water.

Four kinds of duck, four ways of feeding: Shovellers revolve filtering tiny creatures from the water, Gadwalls browse on algae, Tufted Ducks dive, Mallards crop leaves from the planters in the Italian Garden.

The old half-blind rabbit browsed under the Henry Moore sculpture.

Wednesday, 19 January 2022

A single Goldfinch twittered in a treetop beside the Long Water. It's puzzling that there are so few Goldfinches in the park when they are a common sight in the surrounding streets. There are plenty of trees with edible seeds, such as alders, as well as teasels and other source of suitable food.

But there is no shortage of Long-Tailed Tits, which feed mainly on insects. One flock was going round the Long Water ...

... and another round the Serpentine.

The confident female Coal Tit in the Flower Walk followed me along the path, coming down to take one pine nut after another. Her mate watched from the bushes. I think it won't be long before he decides it's safe to take food from people's hands.

A Robin is also on the brink of coming over.

There are several colonies of Wrens around the lake. Recent mild winters have allowed the smallest birds to survive, and numbers of Wrens and Goldcrests are increasing noticeably.

The female Peregrine was on the barracks.

The Green Woodpecker on Buck Hill was calling and could be seen in a lime tree.

A pair of Black-Headed Gulls called and displayed to each other on the edge of the Serpentine.

Only two Cormorants remained on the Long Water. This one at Peter Pan stared at the camera ...

... and gave an enormous yawn. You often see birds yawning, but whether it's because they are bored or sleepy I don't know.

An unusually dark Great Crested Grebe was fishing at the Lido. I think they may get darker as they get older.

These are the two rabbits at the Henry Moore sculpture. The younger one, shown first, has a torn right ear. The older one has a cataract in its left eye.

To brighten up a dim day, a fine picture by Mark Williams of a pair of Mute Swans courting on the Serpentine.