Friday, 13 November 2015

The Great Crested Grebes on the Long Water whom I photographed dancing on 10 November have now started building a nest in the fallen branch of the poplar tree next to Peter Pan. I hope they are only playing. They don't have to look after their young any more, and have plenty of time to spare.

One of their grown-up chicks was fishing in the wire baskets near the bridge. It caught a fish but ate it under water, as there were Black-Headed Gulls on the surface waiting to snatch it.

I was wrong to say that this place is fished out. In the baskets on the other side of the bridge a Cormorant was fairly hoovering up small fish, mostly perch but I think this one is a roach.

The rowan trees on Buck Hill are still full of Mistle Thrushes eating the berries.

A sunny interval lit up a Great Tit in the leaf yard.

There was a violent squall with hail around 1 pm. Here are some Canada Geese enduring it, with a few Herring Gulls which seem to be able to fly when being pelted with hailstones.

A young Herring Gull was playing with a plane seed, an excellent toy which rolls when dropped and has a little stem so you can pick it up and wave it about.

The Black Swan and his girlfriend came into one end of the space behind the floating reed rafts at the east end of the Serpentine. The Mute Swans that were there promptly left through the gap at the other end.

It's possible that this ill-assorted pair will try to drive away all the other swans and claim the Serpentine for themselves. This has been done before by a pair of Mute Swans -- in fact it has been done twice, and they took the Long Water as well, driving all the other swans on to the Round Pond.

The female Teal is back in the same place under the parapet of the Italian Garden. I was told about this when the light was fading, and hurried round to get a picture before it got completely dark.

The wind was too strong for the Little Owl to come out on his branch.


  1. Great photos in an amazing range of weather and light conditions!

    1. Thanks. It was English weather at its most vivid. The picture of the geese was taken over the heads of a small crowd sheltering from the hailstorm under the eaves of the Dell restaurant.

    2. I especially like that squall shot. The low light shots are remarkable too for how little "noise" there is.

    3. The squall shot is at ISO 800 and the Teal (when it was really very dark) at 1600. I have high-ISO noise reduction completely turned off for both these settings. In the squall shot I think the texture on the dark trees is actually a picture of falling hail, although the speed was a lowish 1/400. There is much less grain on the dark heads of the geese, which were half as far away.

    4. About the texture on the trees, from here it looks like falling hail, not noise at all. I really like your capture of it. I know you have posted what gear you are using already, but one slight suggestion I have is that you might consider adding a few words about your gear to your profile blurb on this page. A lot of us admire your photos. Although I know it is your practiced skill that is the key element, to those of us who like good nature photos, many of us are gear nuts too.

    5. A good idea, and I've done it. Dunno about my practised skill. It's still mainly point, shoot and hope.