Thursday 7 January 2016

The strong west wind had brought most of the Mute Swans on the Serpentine up to the bridge, which gave them some shelter. Inevitably, a few of them trickled under the bridge on to the Long Water.

They returned seconds later, chased by the male of the resident pair.

The Black Swan was at the other end of the lake with his girlfriend. Both were peacefully preening. The wind made him even more ruffled than usual.

The Teal was still at the top of the Long Water near the Italian Garden, poking around under the waterside brambles.

Two male Tufted Ducks went by, looking very fine with their jaunty tufts, natty black and white plumage, and the smile of a rubber bath duck moulded into their bills.

A female Pochard gazed soulfully into the camera.

A pair of Great Crested Grebes were fishing under the edge of the Italian Garden, where the fountain and several ornamental waterspouts keep the water in constant turmoil. Maybe the highly oxygenated water attracts fish, or maybe grebes just enjoy a good jacuzzi.

Farther down the lake some Cormorants were fishing, and as usual Black-Headed Gulls were trying to grab the fish before the Cormorants swallowed them. I have never seen them succeed at this.

A Jackdaw was on a branch in the leaf yard, expecting to be fed.

So were the Great Tits, Blue Tits and Coal Tits. But Long-Tailed Tits take no notice of people at all. They are neither interested nor afraid. The flock just goes by in its endless pursuit of insects.


  1. hi ralph. excellent pic of the black swan's 'flamenco frills'. but i see white feathers underneath. is that normal? or do you think he is leucistic?
    Mark W2

    1. No, it's normal. They have white primaries and secondaries.

  2. ah. OK. thnx v much :D
    Mark W2

  3. Hopefully the Black Swan is not taken away.
    Thankfully he has the sense to stay at the better park!