Wednesday 9 December 2015

A loud ticking noise from a bush next to the Vista revealed one of the Cetti's Warblers scolding some invisible predator. It was so furious that it forgot to be shy of humans and stayed in sight for half a minute. Here it is in full cry ...

... and during a quieter moment.

Apart from that it was a very ordinary day, though pleasantly sunny. The rowan tree on Buck Hill was visited by several Mistle Thrushes, a Redwing ...

... and the usual crowd of migrant Blackbirds.

A flock of Long-Tailed Tits was going around the Serpentine.

One of the colony of Wrens near the Italian Garden came out on a twig for a few seconds.

On a Long Water, a pair of Great Crested Grebes were displaying, and one of them went into the 'cat posture', with wings outspread as if enclosing a huge brood of chicks on its back.

This pair has been displaying quite a lot, especially on sunny days. It doesn't mean that they will start nesting at an inappropriate time. These rituals are enjoyable for their own sake, and strengthen the bond between the pair.

The Black Swan was wandering around on the Lido with the speckled Canada-Greylag hybrid goose. He left it in peace, even when they were competing for some food that was being thrown to them.

His girlfriend, or perhaps one should now say ex-girlfriend, was right at the east end of the Serpentine, also being fed by a visitor.

A Cormorant had caught a perch near the bridge.

This Black-Headed Gull with a black plastic ring, code P762, is a visitor from Lithuania, the second one I have seen recently. I couldn't get the whole code on its metal ring, but it ends with 6.442.


  1. How can you tell a migrant (as it were)from a resident blackbird? I'm very fond of them and their song, but would be hard pressed to tell them apart.

    1. There are lots of them. Resident Blackbirds are sadly scarce in this park as a result of leaf blowing in shrubberies, which destroys their habitat (and yes, I have told the park authorities about this, and you might as well talk to a potato). The migrants include many immature males with black bills. And lastly, they are very shy, while our residents are used to people.

  2. In the right place at the right time!
    Lovely Cetti's Warblers pictures, for one of the first times these secretive birds have emerged.
    Do you know whether there is a pair or just a single?

    1. Better than that, I think there are two families, one usually between the bridge and the Vista (the one photographed was just the other side of the Vista) and the other one east of the Lido, where some months ago I saw three of them but couldn't get a picture through the twigs.

  3. Excellent.
    Do they stay all year round or go off somewhere else?

  4. Lovely Cetti's photos Ralph! The hybrid 'goose' looks most strange. I am used to the grylag canada hybrids but in this one looks different in which the bill looks almost duck like. I wonder if it could be a Egyptian x greylag? or egyptian x canada?

    1. Thanks. Yes, the bill is a bit strange. Was feeding this bird only today, and thinking that. But I'm absolutely sure that this is a Canada x Greylag hybrid. It is one of four siblings, and the other three are more Canada-like to varying degrees. When this goose fell ill, the others abandoned it. They are still away at the moment, but they fly in and out and the four may (or may not) be reunited.