Monday, 16 November 2015

A Black-Headed Gull had picked something out of the Serpentine, probably a rat-tailed maggot but the trailing weed makes it hard to see, and was being chased in circles by another gull which wanted it. Despite being slowed by the drag of the streamer of weed, the gull kept its food and went somewhere private to eat it.

Much the same was happening to a Common Gull on the Round Pond. In this case the prize was a bit of Arab unleavened bread.

The Black Swan was his usual aggressive self. He attacked several Mute Swans at the east end of the Serpentine, including this one with a black face.

There are two black-faced Mute Swans, possibly siblings though they arrived at different times. Both are male. This is the second one, whose black face has streaky edges where the other swan's face is solid black.

A Great Crested Grebe was flying up the Serpentine, as usual only a couple of feet above the water. Normally they fly only when they have to, but stiff breeze encourages them to do a bit of practice, as it shortens their laborious takeoff run.

With their narrow, heavily loaded wings they have to fly fast with rapid wingbeats and a high angle of attack, from which the neck points down in a Concorde-like posture. Having almost no tail feathers, they seem to use their big feet as control surfaces.

The female Teal was still on the Long Water. After a good deal of shovelling around (very like the action of a Shoveller) among the dead leaves, she set off across the open lake, still shovelling. Most of the time she kept her eyes shut, just opening them occasionally to see where she was going.

One of the rowan trees on Buck Hill, which is now completely leafless, was full of birds. It's common to see a Blackbird here, and there were several today.

A Mistle Thrush could be heard rattling in a neighbouring tree, waiting for me to go away so it could feed undisturbed.

A Blue Tit was picking out what I think are the seeds of the berries from which some other bird has nibbled off the juicy outside.

And there was a Jay, the first one I have seen eating rowan berries here.

A Wren was inspecting a plant for bugs at the top of the Dell waterfall.

This Carrion Crow was enjoying the weathervane on top of the Lido restaurant, rocking back and forth to make it spin round.


  1. That is delightful, the crow playing with the weather vane...not a starving crow I am guessing, since it has energy to play. Great attention to the fun details. Wonderful.

    1. It had just had several peanuts from me. Our crows are prosperous and fat.

  2. Ralph - when viewing the female Teal by enlarging it, I appear to see what looks like an "insect" on its back? or of course it could be a tangle of leaves?


    1. It's a few leaves of duckweed. The Teal had been rooting around in a mixture of weed and debris before she came out into open water.