Friday 22 January 2016

A dark drizzly day had made the gas lamps switch on -- they are an odd mixture of old and new, turned on by photoelectric cells. A Black-Headed Gull was enjoying the warmth wafting up the chimney.

I have read a report from Canada that Blackbirds have taken to landing on electric street lamps which have a light sensor on top, and stretching out a wing to cover it so that the lamp switches on and warms them.

Some Black-Headed Gulls mobbed a Grey Heron standing on the edge of the Serpentine and chased it away.

The rain didn't bother a pair of Shovellers feeding near the bridge.

The two female Pochards that are resident on the lake all year round are extremely tame. This one came up on shore and took a piece of digestive biscuit from my hand.

The Black Swan was not having things his own way for once. At least two male Mute Swans on the Serpentine have found that they can dominate him, and so has the male of the alpha pair who own the entire Long Water.

Both Little Grebes were in their usual place at the north end of the Long Water.

They don't seem to move far away from this patch. The previous lone Little Grebe would move all round the edge, and sometimes go under the bridge on to the Serpentine.

There were six Jackdaws around the Henry Moore sculpture.

The number of Jackdaws in the park is definitely increasing. I think they have been breeding, though I have never seen a young one. But they may be arriving from the colony in Bayswater which was their stronghold for years after they left the park in 1968 -- the year when their favourite elm trees were wiped out by disease.

There is often a Wren on the path just north of the Flower Walk where it is crossed by the path up from Queen's Gate. Here it is seen through the bars of the gate.

After all these grey pictures, a bit of colour. Andy Sunters took this fine picture of a Great Tit landing on my hand yesterday.


  1. My favourite Little Grebes with their characteristic fluffy rumps...:)

    1. They had been diving, so they weren't fully fluffed up. They can be completely hemispherical.

    2. Ooooh my. Ralph, if you see a completely hemispherical Little Grebe, I will live in the hope that you can snap it and post it here!

    3. I second the request!
      Enthralling pictures, and enthralling narrative, as always.