Monday 14 December 2015

There was a Treecreeper in the shrubbery between the Diana fountain and the bridge, the first one I've seen there. But Treecreepers are such quiet, shy little birds that they can be in a place for a long time before you notice them. This picture was taken at in the fading light at 3.30 on a grey day, so it's not good.

Long-Tailed tits are very noticeable, calling constantly as the flock moves along. They were in the little bramble patch southeast of the Italian Garden, always a good place for small birds.

Inside the brambles, and completely invisible, a Blackbird was singing quietly to himself. Young Blackbirds need to practise to get their complex, varied song right the following spring.

The pair of Magpies who regard themselves as owners of the southernmost rowan tree in the little group on Buck Hill were keeping the thrushes away from the last of the berries.

That didn't deter several Mistle Thrushes from going into the next tree.

Mistle Thrushes hate Magpies, which try to raid their nests, and even when not nesting are likely to attack them, swooping low over their heads and rattling furiously.

The Black Swan, whom I missed yesterday, was in fact there. Harry G commented that he was going around the reed rafts at the east end of the Serpentine, and he must have been hidden behind them when I was looking for him. He was there today too, but this time he noticed me and came over to be fed. I now get greeted with hoots and head raising.

His girlfriend was not far off, begging for food on the shore next to the Dell restaurant, though he hadn't yet noticed her because there was a raft in the way.

There were 51 Pochards today, as well as this little group of Red-Crested Pochards at the Serpentine island. These also fly in and out unpredictably, though I think that all the ones we see here are resident British birds rather than migrants, as they are liable to turn up at any time of year.

However, there are few Shovellers at the moment, mostly on the Long Water. This one was by himself on the Serpentine.

A Great Crested Grebe was looking for fish in the carpet of fallen leaves at the Serpentine outflow.

This Black-Headed Gull with a plastic ring is a visitor from Denmark.

A Black-Headed Gull on the Round Pond was being chased by Common Gulls to make it drop the bread it was carrying.


  1. I get the feeling that there is a growing love-in with the Black Swan...cantankerous as he can be at times....& with you Ralph, it sounds as though the feeling is mutual!

    1. He is a lot easier to get on with than Mute Swans, which just cruise in and grab your fingers along with the food, producing a painful graze.

  2. Can you see all birds swimming/diving underwater from the edge or are grebes just easier to see than other?

    1. The light has to be right, and the viewing angle steeply downward. Tufted Ducks are also easy to see, especially the drakes.