Thursday 3 December 2015

The Black Swan hasn't been seen with his girlfriend for the past few days, and I am begiining to wonder whether they have split up. He was near the Diana fountain and in a particularly aggressive mood, chasing the other swans and even pecking at Coots.

The injured Mute Swan on the Long Water is looking much better, and was standing up and walking around. Here his mate -- on the left -- has come to visit him.

She had stayed away from him when he was feeling bad and lying low. I think he wanted to be alone anyway.

A Cormorant was fishing in the water filter under the marble fountain in the Italian Garden -- or whatever that mysterious semicircular wall with a grating on top was supposed to be; anyway it is full of fish. It is now also full of dead leaves, and the bird was having some difficulty swallowing the fish and spitting out the vegetation.

 This is a Great Crested Grebe touching down on the Serpentine. A grebe's legs are set too far back for the usual water bird's waterskiing descent which softens the impact of landing. Instead, the grebe trails its legs, waits till they touch the surface, and then folds its wings and comes down with a great splash.

It uses its feet to feel its way down because, when the water is very still, it's hard to tell where the surface is. Grebes travel by night, and it's even harder to see the surface in the dark.

A Black-Headed Gull which had won a bit of food was being chased across the Serpentine by another.

A Young Herring Gull was stretching its wings after having a wash.

Beside the Round Pond, a Pied Wagtail was getting splashed by the little waves breaking over the kerb.

Wagtails seem to prefer these wet places. Possibly the waves splash up little water creatures for them to eat.

The rowan trees on Buck Hill were less busy, but there were Blackbirds and a couple of Mistle Thrushes.

A young rabbit next to the Henry Moore sculpture was cleaning its face with a licked paw.


  1. I was by the Diana Fountain yesterday and that food that the gull got was being found a lot by coots as well which had to run away from the gulls.
    I am not sure what it was.
    I also saw a dog off its lead having an argument with a swan, the owner put it on its lead when I told her that she was breaking the law.

    1. There is a pair of Herring Gulls in the Diana enclosure that dig up worms, but I don't think the Coots would have a chance of stealing those.