Monday 12 December 2016

A pair of Great Crested Grebes were dancing on the Serpentine.

This is the first dance of the new season that I've seen. They start very early, long before the normal breeding season in early spring -- and the grebes here don't even have a spring breeding season, as the supply of small fish is not good enough until midsummer.

The odd couple of a Lesser Black-Backed Gull and a Herring Gull were also displaying to each other.

This pair has been together for several years.

A Mute Swan turned upside down during a particularly enthusiastic washing session.

The reed raft at the east end of the Serpentine has more Cormorants on it every day, despite the treacherousness of the foothold. It seems to be a good place for them to fish. There were another two in the water.

A Grey Heron preferred to fish at the island, and had caught a large perch.

It had grabbed the fish so violently that it had bitten its head off. It ate the head separately before swallowing the rest.

Two rival Moorhens were mooning each other at the Lido.

It's an odd threat display. The white feathers on their hindquarters are a warning signal, but neither bird can see this as it's facing the other way.

The Moorhens in the Dell have brought up all four chicks to near adulthood. One parent is at the far left of the group.

Their success can be attributed to the absence of large gulls in the Dell. Also, the local Grey Heron spends most of its time at the Dell restaurant.

A worm saw the last light of day as it was swallowed by a Blackbird at the Lido.

A Coal Tit was climbing up a yew hedge in the Rose Garden. There must be some small insects in the dense cover of the leaves.

A Wren chattered from a bush.

There were two Redwings in one of the rowan trees on Buck Hill. Although the city is full of Redwings at the moment, we never get many of them in the park until the funfair has closed, when flocks come in to look for worms and bugs in the ruined grass on the site.

A Jackdaw looked into one of the swan-headed urns in the Italian Garden to see if there was anything interesting inside.

The swan's head is new, one of several that were made to restore breakages when the garden was renovated a few years ago. You can see the join.

The male Little Owl in the lime tree near the Henry Moore sculpture was perched outside his hole.


  1. Nevermore un cygne d'autrefois...

  2. Now I've seen everything. Moorhens will do battle by showing their posteriors!

    1. They also use this display to defy other birds, so it makes a certain amount of sense.