Thursday 22 December 2016

A crowd of gulls was wheeling on the Serpentine, and there were two Carrion Crows in with them, not harassing the gulls but joining in for the sheer joy of flying.

The crowd included our old friend 28P1, the gull from Reading.

One of the Black-Headed Gulls is already growing the brown head of its summer breeding plumage, several months prematurely.

A Cormorant was flapping prosaically along the Serpentine. They are strong flyers, but for them flying is just a way of getting to the next fishing spot.

A female Tufted Duck was washing vigorously.

There was a pair of Egyptian Geese in the little stream in the Dell, the first time I have seen any there. It is a perfect place for a pair, safe from dogs and with plenty of old trees one of which must have a suitable hole for a nest.

A Rose-Ringed Parakeet climbed into a hole in a tree. They use holes as shelters in winter. Although they have adapted well to the English climate, December is still a challenge.

Little Owls also prefer warmer climates and spend a lot of time in their holes in winter. The female owl at the Albert Memorial had come out to the front to enjoy the sunshine.

The female owl in the lime tree near the Henry Moore sculpture remains very shy. She dashed into her hole when I was fifty yards away.

A lot of Starlings were chattering all round the shelter at the bottom of Buck Hill. They nest in the eaves, but outside the nesting season the shelter remains a place to congregate.

Every time I pass the shrubbery at the southwest corner of the bridge, various kinds of tits emerge to be fed. This Blue Tit ...

... and Coal Tit ...

... were getting impatient with the delay caused by photographing them, and were staring and jumping about and calling for service.

There were Goldfinches again in the tops of the plane trees on the south side of the Rose Garden.


  1. Do they really tweet at you to hurry up and be done with the pictures? That Blue Tit certainly looks exasperated.

    Poor Cormorant. The comparison to those wonderful flying miracles is not to its advantage. Although to own the truth neither crows nor gulls can boast of looking like Nessie from a distance, like Cormorants do.

  2. I quite enjoy watching Cormorants when they're flying high in small groups