Friday 23 December 2016

On a grey day there was nothing remarkable to see, just the familiar birds going about their business.

A Pied Wagtail was running around beside the Serpentine.

Some Long-Tailed Tits passed along the edge of the Long Water.

This is one of the pair of Coal Tits near the bridge. I haven't seen more than one for some weeks, and feared that one of them might have died, but today they both came down to be fed.

A Goldcrest was flitting around in the bushes behind them, but it was impossible to get a picture without at least one twig in the way.

A half-eaten apple had been stuck on the railings for the Rose-Ringed Parakeets, but a squirrel made off with it.

A Black-Headed Gull beside the Serpentine was trying to swallow a very large piece of bread.

Another was preening its wings.

A Grey Heron stared down from a nest on the island.

The two nests are almost permanently occupied, and it look as if the herons are claiming their nesting sites well in advance of the breeding season. But the three baskets put up for them on the west side of the Long Water have been completely ignored.

A Greylag Goose was washing.

A pair of Egyptian Geese had their feathers ruffled when they walked downwind.

Gadwall drakes are not at all showy, but a close-up view shows the beautiful patterns on their feathers.

Pochard drakes are also finely patterned.

The female Little Owl near the Albert Memorial came out to the front of the hole in the early afternoon.


  1. I didnt realise the herons occupied their nests in the winter. They dont seem to here but I expect thats due to availability of nesting sites. On the subject of gull behaviour, last weekend I watched a herring gull attack another. The gull had the others beak held firmly closed in its own beak for what seemed like ages. Then the attacker subjected the other bird to what looked like being suffocated with its beak firmly clamped on its neck.. This went on for quite some time until the victim finally escaped and flew off - only to return a short while later! Is this normal? I don't know very much about gull behaviour. Merry Christmas and thanks for sharing your great ohotos of 2016.

    1. It does seem strange to find two Grey Herons occupying nests in December. I am not sure who much of this is territorial behaviour, and how much is simply finding a convenient place to perch. They spend a lot of time in the adjacent trees too.

      Normally with gulls a threat display or a charge resolves disputes. Only if the subordinate bird refuses to back down does it come to a fight.

  2. Great news about the Coal Tit. The female Little Owl looks contented, as if she were thinking of some very pleasant things.

    Merry Christmas to all!

    1. She must have been in a very serene mood when I was looking at her. Normally she is alert and suspicious, but this time she went into a doze.