Sunday 21 December 2014

There have been Dunnocks for years in the little patch of shrubs next to the entrance of the Lido bathing area, but these shy little birds are hard to see and normally there is just a momentary glimpse of a little brown bird vanishing under a bush. Today it spent a few seconds foraging under a bench and allowed itself to be photographed.

Just across the path, a pair of Pied Wagtails were again running around on the rubber mat on the Lido jetty. They are spending a lot of time here now, because some Egyptian Geese have been using it too, and their copious droppings attract insects which the wagtails pick out of the ridges in the matting.

As Greylag Goose with white-flecked plumage has been on the Serpentine for several months. It is considerably smaller than the others and rather scrawny, and is often by itself, as if the other Greylags don't accept it as one of them.

This is an absolutely unremarkable picture of a Grey Heron, except for one thing. I went past it on the path near Peter Pan, walked around the lake with various detours, and passed it again over two hours later. It was in exactly the same place in exactly the same position. It was waiting for an incautious rat in the shrubbery to forget that it was there, and wander close enough to be grabbed.

Another incident in the troubled life of a female Mallard: she was chased all over the Long Water by seven drakes with one thing on their mind.

The Shovellers on the Long Water were browsing next to a fallen poplar tree, under the gaze of a couple of Cormorants.

I was walking past this poplar when it fell, in a gale in the winter of 2011. Luckily it fell away from me, or I wouldn't be writing this blog.

There were four Jackdaws in front of Kensington Palace. Two of them came down to be fed, and had a lively time dodging the gulls. When they understand that you are trying to give them food, they lose their fear and come close, and don't mind you walking towards them.

The male Tawny Owl was in his usual place, peacefully dozing.


  1. No Grebes today, but your photo of a smartly dressed heron is a more than adequate substitute. I have been looking at 'night herons' which are extraordinarily beautiful (I have to add 'looking in Google images' as I don't suppose I will ever see one in real life).

    The chubby Tawny Owl never fails to cheer. :)

    1. Much as I'd like to, I can't find a good grebe picture every day, especially when there are only six on the lake.

    2. I'm not complaining Ralph, let me be quite clear about that! All your pictures hold charm for me!

  2. Lovely photo of the Dunnock. Are they related to the Wren? Sue.

    1. They are in different families.
      Dunnock: Prunella modularis, family Prunellidae
      Wren: Troglodytes troglodytes, family Troglodytidae

    2. Good illusion of a similarity above! Jim n.L.

    3. Actually a Dunnock is quite a normally shaped small songbird. The picture is a front view that makes it look dumpier than it is. I used it because it was the best of the five shots I managed during the three seconds the bird was in sight.