Friday 10 February 2017

There was a welcome reappearance by a Little Grebe ...

... under the willow near the Italian Garden where the Kingfisher was perched.

The white-faed Blackbird was on her usual branch in the next tree, which I now know is a Winged Elm, Ulmus alata -- but it's as dead as the willow.

(Why is it Ulmus but alata? Most Latin tree names end in -us but are feminine. I can only think of one tree of a different gender Acer, maple, which is neuter.)

There was a brief view of a Nuthatch.

The Dunnock was poking about in its usual flower bed in the Rose Garden.

Several Redwings could be seen on the Parade Ground.

But there were no other thrushes here, and just one Pied Wagtail. Conditions were not ideal, as there was a tractor just up the hill. More birds will come back at a quieter time.

Other Pied Wagtails were hunting along the edge of the Serpentine.

A Robin was foraging in the darkness under the bridge, and refused to be disturbed even when runners thundered by.

A Jackdaw perched on a branch with a hopeful look in its beautiful silvery eye, and was rewarded with a peanut.

The familiar young Heron at the Dell restaurant was also looking hopeful, but on a nasty dark drizzly day there were few people feeding the ducks.

The undersized Egyptian Goose was also hoping for food, in its usual spot below the Triangle car park.

There are very few Shovellers on the lake. I saw three on the Long Water, and this solitary female on the Serpentine near the Lido.

The female Little Owl near the Albert Memorial was hard to see in the dim light.


  1. Love your blog and all the Bird Photography.
    Is it possible if you could do some kind of map when you talk about where things are EG where are the lime tree with the owl.

    1. Thank you. Please see my post of 21 January,which gives maps for finding the two currently visible Little Owls. Other places can be found on the normal map on noticeboards in the park, except for the 'leaf yard', which is the railed enclosure with the statue of Peter Pan on its east side -- it has this name because it's where the gardeners dump the enormous mass of dead leaves that fall every autumn.

  2. A real great selection of more unusual birds today.

    1. Thanks. Wish Little Grebes were a bit more usual. Still can't work out whether we have a permanent resident or pair, or whether they just fly in for a few days from Regent's Park and go back. Same with the Kingfishers: are they from St James's Park, where none has been reported for a while?

  3. Talking of unusual: I'm very pleased to say that I heard a small flock of sparrows near the Homerton Hospital a few days ago; there are some in and around the Lea Valley, but it's been years since I've heard any in (almost) Hackney Central.

    1. Perhaps they are creeping back. I saw a recent claim that they are kept out by the levels of particulates from diesel engines, something very hard to rectify in the extremely polluted centre of London. However, it seems that there are some House Sparrows in Westminster -- on the Churchill Gardens housing estate downriver from Chelsea Bridge. Haven't been there to try to find them yet. (There has also long been a small colony at Regent's Park zoo, but they are kept there by feeding them.)