Thursday 2 February 2017

Looking across the Long Water to the Henry Moore enclosure, you can just see that the Egyptian Geese still have five young.

Much of the time they are kept under their mother's wings to shield them from the big gulls.

A pair of Mute Swans trying to make a nest in the reed bed near the Diana fountain were evicted by the local bully.

Another swan struck a dramatic attitude at the end of a preening session.

This picture, taken by Simon Worsfold, shows a Black Swan at Brent Reservoir, where it has been for some time. It looks very like the one that stayed in the park for eleven months, still sadly missed.

There is another solitary Black Swan in Beddington Reservoir, of which I don't have a picture.

A Pochard stared at the camera.

A Great Crested Grebe caught a fish near the Serpentine outflow.

This Cormorant fishing in one of the Italian Garden ponds had caught a perch, but had to discard a lot of unwanted vegetation swallowing it.

The Redwings on the Parade Ground were disturbed by leaf blowers and took to the trees.

A Pied Wagtail looked down from the kerb at the edge of the Serpentine before leaping to catch some tiny creature.

Two Carrion Crows were bathing in the Diana fountain in the Rose Garden.

(It has a stature of the goddess Diana on it, nothing to do with the princess.)

A Blue Tit waited impatiently for some Rose-Ringed Parakeets to stop hogging the feeder.

Only one Little Owl was visible, the one in the lime tree. The first time I passed it was crouching low in the hole to keep out of the rain, and this picture was taken at a second visit.

While I was shuffling around trying to get a picture the first time, I turned round and found that two Grey Herons had arrived and were looking hopeful. They get fed on this part of the Vista, and now assume that anyone standing there has brought food for them.


  1. I live down the road from Beddington Farmlands, and pictures of the Black Swan can be found on Kojak's blog.
    It has been around a lot less time than the Brent Reservoir however.

    1. Thanks a lot. The Beddington Black Swan looks less like ours than the Brent one does, though it's hard to be sure from two quite small pictures.

    2. Is there any way to administer the biscuit test? God, I hope he is our much-missed swan!

      It's almost unnatural how tame those Grey Herons are.

    3. I must find out about Brent Reservoir -- in particular how you get into the place, and the best viewpoints. With the days lengthening, it should soon be possible to get my blog pictures done quickly and go up there on the Tube.

    4. You are our hero (and I really really mean it).

    5. There's also been a Black Swan upriver for many weeks, currently at Kingston. You really can't miss the one at Brent Reservoir but to make the most of a visit it's best to go on a weekend morning when you will have more of a chance of getting access into the east path hides via the local birders.

    6. It looks as if the Black Swan at Brent isn't our swan -- see picture sent to me by Fran on Friday's blog. But the one at Kingston is a very likely candidate, since our swan was probably last seen heading in that direction, at Barn Elms.