Wednesday 16 December 2015

A pair of Jackdaws are now often to be seen at the southeast corner of the leaf yard -- the place where people now feed the Ring-Necked Parakeets. They may be attracted simply by the prospect of peanuts. But this one was standing above a hole in an oak tree very close to the corner of the fence, and it is possible that the pair have claimed the hole and intend to nest there in the spring. So this tree may repay watching.

A flock of Long-Tailed Tits made its way through the treetops on the other side of the path. Here is one hanging upside down from a twig in the endless search for insects.

The outflow of the Serpentine is blocked with leaves again, which the gardeners are struggling to clear. This has raised the water level and flooded part of the shore near the island. The high water means that Pied Wagtails no longer have the sloping edge under the kerb to hunt along. But the waves wash edible creatures on to the granite kerb, and this bird has just found one.

Great Crested Grebes also find food at the edge of the lake. Their diet is by no means restricted to fish, and they will eat all kinds of water creatures, and sometimes manage to catch low-flying insects.

The flooding had also created a puddle for the speckled Canada-Greylag hybrid goose to drink from. This bird, so sad and wonky a few months ago, really seems to be recovering. It is still walking stiffly, but I haven't seen it fall over recently. And when an irresponsible dog owner went past with her pet off the lead, it trotted into the water quite briskly.

Mallards find the willow tree near the bridge a peaceful place to rest.

The Black Swan wasn't visible, although I went round the lake twice. The best I could find was a very dirty Mute Swan near the Dell restaurant.  It must have sat down in a patch of mud. Well, it will wash off.

Update: Virginia Grey reports that the Black Swan was on the Round Pond.

The rowan trees on Buck Hill still have some berries, and had attracted at least two Redwings -- I couldn't see how many in the neighbouring tree where they were perched, but there was a good deal of mild chattering coming from it.

The last berries are the ones that are hard to reach, and a Mistle Thrush was having to stretch to find them.

Blackbirds are smaller and lighter, and more agile in these awkward places.


  1. I really, really enjoy your blog. I grew up in Maida Vale and know Hyde Park well. I just wished I had the time to visit it more often.

    Keep up the good work and would like to take this opportunity to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

    1. Thank you very much, and best wishes to you too.

  2. Myself too Ralph.I follow the blog daily.I now live in NZ but grew up in NW London and keenly remember the birdlife of the Welsh Harp Resevoir and Fryent Country Park.Your blog takes me back home. Merry Christmas.

  3. Hello Ralph,
    Thank you very much for your posts with lovely photos and commentary on them. I enjoy them very much and love to visit here.I love this park and you will not believe it, but whenever I come to London I must visit here. BTW, I live in Toronto, Canada, and whenever we visit London I do not miss the opportunity to come to this park at least once, while others go sight seeing.Thanks for this blog,visiting here feels like I am at the park itself.

    1. Thank you, and I'm glad you enjoy our park. Hope to see you the next time you visit.