Saturday 21 January 2017

The hoarding around the site of the funfair is now coming down, and the bare churned earth looks as if the First World War had been fought there. However, the worms have survived under the steel decking, and there were Carrion Crows all over the area looking for them.

Several Pied Wagtails were hunting for insects here.

A Grey Wagtail appeared in a more traditional place, running along the edge of the Serpentine. This is the first one I've seen in months.

There were two pairs of Long-Tailed Tits in different places, this one on Buck Hill.

The big winter flocks are separating into pairs, though it isn't yet time for them to start the long job of building their big complex nests. When this happens, you can often see them collecting cobwebs, moss and feathers.

The Robins are also pairing up. This is one of the pair at the east end of the Lido. They used to live in a large and beautiful ceanothus bush until the gardeners ran amok and destroyed it.

Both Shovellers ...

... and Gadwalls ...

... found that the edge of the ice was a good place to browse for small nutritious creatures.

A young Herring Gull had found something else quite different, a strawberry.

Many birds are not keen on strawberries. Probably they find them too watery.

A pair of Great Crested Grebes at the east end of the Serpentine were taking advantage of a group of Greylag Geese to help with their fishing.

The fish are not disturbed by the big feet of harmless waterfowl churning overhead, and the movement conceals the approach of swift predators.

You wouldn't believe that these two photographs are of the same Little Owl, taken a minute apart. At one moment she was dozing peacefully in the lime tree near Henry Moore, with her feathers fluffed up to keep her warm on a chilly morning.

I walked a few feet around the tree for a better angle, and this woke her up. Here she is with her feathers sleeked down ready for flight, looking at me suspiciously.

The female owl in the oak tree near the Albert Memorial remained calm but looked down curiously.

There was just one fox asleep on the edge of the Long Water. It was so relaxed that I worried it might be dead, but when I came back later it had shifted to a new position.

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