Friday 16 January 2015

The pair of Great Crested Grebes from the east end of the Serpentine were having a lively fight with their neighbours at the island.

During the initial scuffle one bird tries to wrap its neck round the neck of the other and tip it over sideways so that its head is under water and it has to submit. It looks rough but the rules are strict and I've never seen a grebe getting hurt in one of these fights.

Two pairs of Egyptian Geese on the Serpentine were also competing. The pair standing next to me, out of shot, had been displaying on the edge of the water, making a terrible noise (the female makes more than the male). This brought another pair, which charged along the shore and pushed the first pair into the water.

The Scaup was still on the Round Pond, preening himself far out in the middle and too far away for a good picture.

A Blue Tit was bathing in the shallow pool in front of Rima. All kinds of small birds come here to bathe. It is a pity that the place is quite far away and in the shade, but it should be possible to get better pictures in summer when there is more light.

Some Feral Pigeons were also having a communal bath on the edge of the Serpentine.

An earthworm saw the last of daylight as it was swallowed by a Robin.

One of the Nuthatches in the leaf yard struck a dramatic pose before coming down to the railings to take some food.

And the male Tawny Owl was in his usual place with the sun shining over his shoulder. He always sits with his back to the light to protect his sensitive eyes.


  1. Thanks for explaining what’s going on at the end of the Long Water. If the swans do take advantage there may be creatures other than foxes that will be disappointed. One day last summer towards dusk I craned over the wall to see the cygnets but the family were still out on the water. Busying themselves about the nest however were three young rats, joined soon after by a large adult one. They scurried out of its way, returning when it was at a safe distance. This behaviour was repeated over and over and only stopped when the swans returned. It looked as though the rats were finding food in the nest but exactly what wasn’t obvious.

    Ps Is the Rima monument in a public area?

    1. Interesting. I've seen the park rats swimming greater distances than from the shore to the new island, and without doubt a fox could too if it wanted. Let's hope the water deters them sufficiently.

      Rima has a fence across the front which keeps you about 40 ft from the relief, and the little pools are immediately under the stone wall.

  2. my photo today of the tawny

    1. Remarkable picture. Owls do get into some very odd attitudes when preening.