Monday 8 February 2016

Strong wind and rain didn't deter a party of Starlings from bathing in the Serpentine.

But the white Mallard and his mate had taken shelter behind the rafts of plants at the east end.

The gulls were enjoying the wind, and a young Black-Headed Gull was playing with a stick.

The young Herring Gull that hangs out in the Diana fountain enclosure with two adults was only beginning to learn the worm dance when I last photographed it, but today it was pattering its little feet like Michael Flatley, and brought up several worms.

The Black Swan was in the middle of the Serpentine, but spotted me and came over to greet me with a squeaky call and be rewarded with a digestive biscuit.

One of the Little Grebes appeared on the Long Water.

I'm sure there are still two, because yesterday I heard one of them calling to the other. Mostly they have been silent, but the approach of spring is waking them up.

The small birds in the leaf yard were coming out to be fed, though some of them were blown off my hand by a violent gust and had to go round again. There were plenty of Blue Tits ...

and two Coal Tits. It's amazing how a bird weighing 7 grams manages to fly in a strong wind.

One of the Nuthatches also came down to take food from the fence.

Tom took this pleasing picture of a Wren yesterday when it came out on a hawthorn twig.

The young leaves are coming out already. We shall have may blossom long before it is time to cast a clout.


  1. On Sunday morning a parakeet was busy eating the sugary bases of unseasonable new cherry-blossoms on a tree at the north end of the bridge; rather anti-social behaviour (was ever a bird more ASBO-worthy?) but, in the brief brilliant sunlight that day, very beautiful. You don't often get to see the blue feathers in their tails, not without binocs.

    Harry G.

    1. The parakeets do make rather a mess of the new growth. The ground under trees is littered with bits of chewed bud. But I suppose you could regard it as a kind of pruning.

  2. I think the gulls are ASBO-worthy - definitely the thugs of the lake - but very clever. If I try to feed ducks but not gulls they land and paddle about like ducks.

    1. I like the way gulls are so resourceful and adaptable, and wouldn't blame them for doing what a gull's gotta do.

  3. Are there any toads or frogs in the Park Ralph? Or are the potential predators too numerous?

    1. I've never hear of there being any. I did once here a rumour of newts, but don't know any more than that. Much of the lake has a hard edge, no good for amphibians. There is a little pond in the garden of the Ranger's Lodge which is of course private, and it looks as if it would be a suitable place.