Tuesday 17 January 2017

The Kingfisher was visible again near the Italian Garden, but at the far side of the dead willow tree and quite hard to see through the branches.

A Mute Swan was having a wash in the Serpentine, turning upside down ...

... and then flapping massively.

They always open their bills when they do this, making them look as if they are enjoying it -- which they probably are.

A Magpie was bathing in its own way, which is to plunge into the lake, have a brief flap, and then fly soggily up to a branch to shake itself dry and preen before repeating the whole process several times.

A pair of Shovellers were revolving on the Round Pond.

A Great Crested Grebe took it easy under the willow tree near the bridge. The glancing sunlight lit up its blood-red eye.

Grebes' eyes must have remarkable powers of focusing, as they can see clearly both above and under water. They can distinguish their young from each other at 50 yards even when these are quite small.

Three Grey Herons perched on a boathouse roof.

The front two are young, and not as intolerant of each other as adults. One of them has an injured foot, but is able to walk on it on the ground, so it will probably recover.

A pair of Nuthatches came down to take food from the leaf yard railings.

So did the local Coal Tit. There seems to be only one here at the moment. Let's hope it finds a mate.

A Robin sang in an olive tree near the Lido restaurant. There are olive trees and Robins on both sides of the restaurant. This is the one on the west side.

The male Little Owl was in the oak tree near the Italian Garden again.

The female owl in the lime tree near the Henry Moore sculpture was also out of the hole.

And the female near the Albert Memorial was basking in the sunlight.


  1. That magpie looks as if it is in heaven. I think all birds sunbathe pretty much in similar ways.

    For a moment my heart skipped a beat when I saw the Swan upside down, until I remembered that no, swans cannot capsize (because they can't, right?).

    1. Repeated washing, drying and preening is also characteristic or Ravens, but I have never seen a Carrion Crow doing it.

      I think a dead swan could float stably upside down. But when live swans fling themselves into this position, it is part of a dynamic, almost violent, procedure, and they wriggle upright in a couple of seconds. Geese do this too.