Tuesday 12 January 2016

A Kingfisher was distantly visible in a bush on the west side of the Long Water, here seen from the opposite side of the lake, too far away for a good picture.

The one and only Little Grebe on the Long Water made one of its rare appearances, also at a distance, moving briskly away from the Italian Garden.

The Great Crested Grebes at the top of the Long Water were eyeing a Coot without favour. The dead willow tree is used by Coots as a nest site, and they feel proprietorial about it even in winter. But for the grebes it is one of the best fishing places on the lake.

The Black Swan was also on the Long Water, under the willow tree near the bridge. The branches provide cover so that the resident pair can't see them and cruise up to shoo them away. He was with his girlfriend's brother. (I am going to carry on using these names until proved wrong.)

His girlfriend was on the other side of the bridge. When she saw the Black Swan, she at once went and fetched him away, and the pair cruised around under the bridge, leaving the brother under the tree.

Nearby on the Serpentine, a pair of Mute Swans were clearly in love.

More Shovellers have arrived, and there were about twenty on the Long Water, spread out in several small groups.

The pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull was hunting again. Here he chases a Feral Pigeon, which made a tight turn around the noticeboard that he couldn't match, and got away untouched.

On a cold morning the small birds were extremely hungry, and I was mobbed by tits. Here is a Coal Tit in the leaf yard.

Tom Bell took this fine picture of a Nuthatch in the same place.


  1. The fine Coal Tit picture shows very hungry eyes!
    The sort of eyes I give at around 1:00 at lunchtime being a hungry 12 year old!

    1. They get annoyed when you photograph them instead of feeding them. I try to take the picture as quickly as possible.

  2. What is their favourite food specifically?

    1. They are very fond of pine nuts, which I give them. In the wild they frequent pine trees and eat the seeds. Probably they prefer insects, but they have to catch those themselves.