Sunday 3 January 2016

On a dull wet day there were few people about, and some Black-Headed Gulls were taking the opportunity to play in the Diana fountain.

On the other side of the enclosure the two Herring Gulls were on their usual hunting ground, not needing to do their worm dance because the rain was bringing up plenty.

The Great Crested Grebes at the island were still examining the space between the baskets.

When the time comes to make a nest -- which won't be till next summer -- they usually make it on the inner side of the line of baskets, out of sight of both marauding gulls and photographers.

Another small party of grebes has arrived, and they were sitting together in the middle of the Serpentine. It takes them a couple of days to stop flocking together and resume their usual way of life as pairs with their own territories.

The Black Swan's girlfriend has been by herself every time I have seen her since he was taken away. It is hard to tell what is going on in a swan's mind, but I think she misses him, and especially the special place the partnership gave her in the pecking order. Now she is just another junior Mute Swan to be chased about by adults.

One of the pair of Grey Herons on the island was back in the nest, but just standing there and not collecting twigs to build it up.

A female Shoveller was cruising below, looking quietly elegant beside the gaudy drakes.

An Egyptian Goose gave me a lofty stare from a stone plinth at the outflow of the lake.

Long-Tailed Tits have remarkable faces. Their very frontally set eyes and tiny beaks gave them an almost owl-like look.


  1. I saw the Black Swan in Regent's Park today, in the channel leading off from the main lake. He was keeping himself to himself

  2. What?! I've been reading back furiously to learn what happened to the Black Swan. I hope he will do as the white pelicans which are kept in a natural park here do - no matter how many times they are captured and taken back to the pond they are supposed to be in, they always manage to find their way back to the largest pond (the one with all the large ornamental perches, of course). I hope he comes back to Hyde Park.
    Lovely picture of the Longtaily!

    1. It's all a bit baffling. There's also a flying Bar-Headed Goose in Regent's Park that comes down here from time to time. But this is always recaptured within a day. Can't think why they left the Black Swan here for so long and allowed him to settle in. I do hope he reasserts his will. We miss him. Meanwhile I will go up to RP occasionally and say hello to him, though I don't like being there because seeing the captive birds makes me unhappy.

  3. Hi Ralph, since I don't know if I have time tomorrow, and leave the day after (meaning I will have no net capability until my return from London) - do you know yet whether you will be around KG to meet up on Friday or Saturday? If yes, when? Would love to hear back from you. Thx, Andie