Thursday 10 December 2015

The Black Swan's romance seems to be on again. He was with his girlfriend near the landing stage by the Diana fountain, calling fondly to her.

Then he chased off all the other swans one by one to impress her with his might, and came back looking pleased with himself.

His girlfriend was in a bad mood and bit me on the leg.

The injured Mute Swan on the Long Water is now sometimes using his left leg to paddle, an encouraging sight. There is a visible wound on it but it seems to be healing.

A large flock of geese, mostly Greylags, have been spending the last few days near the barrier on the west side of the funfair. Despite the noise it is a peaceful place for them, as anyone going around the lake with a dog has to make a wide circuit to go north or south of the enormous enclosure, and doesn't come near them.

A couple of Ring-Necked Parakeets were busy on a bramble growing out of the yew bush between Peter Pan and the Italian Garden. The blackberries are long gone, and I wondered what they were doing. Closer inspection showed that they were licking raindrops off the leaves.

Parakeets tend to stay above ground level if they can, and this is a safe way of getting a drink.

The top of the Henry Moore sculpture is a popular lookout post for many kinds of bird. Today a Jackdaw was using it. As soon as it saw me coming it flew down to demand a peanut.

A Pied Wagtail looked warily at the camera from the roof of one of the small boathouses, where it was looking for insects.

A Mistle Thrush had to stretch to reach one of the remaining berries on a rowan tree on Buck Hill.

As usual, there was a Redwing in the next tree, occasionally flying in to take a berry. It's probably always the same one.

The Robin who owns the little olive tree between the Lido restaurant and the swimming area was ticking busily at the next Robin along the path. Robins sing almost all year round, but this seems to be one of their quiet times.

I got the details of the Lithuanian Black-Headed Gull seen yesterday. It is 13 years old and has been coming to London every winter for at least the past five years.


  1. Wonderful picture of the wagtail! More often than not one is hard pressed to choose a favourite picture when all of them are so lovely.

    The Girlfriend is turning up to be a very ill-mannered lady, even for the standards of Mute Swans. What is a swan bite like? I've been bitten by geese before and it's certainly no fun. I imagine swan bites are much worse.

    1. Thanks.

      If a Mute Swan bites you on the hand, it's a bruising graze that draws blood. If it bites you on the leg and you're wearing heavyweight Levis 501s, no big deal. But people wearing shorts or tights should keep away from this bird.

  2. Presumably if the injured swan is only swimming with one leg he will be going round in circles?

    1. All water birds can swim with one leg and often do, to rest the other one.