Tuesday 24 October 2017

A few seconds of sunshine lit up the autumn trees in front of the south wing of Kensington Palace.

A newly returned Common Gull landed on the rusty pipe in the Round Pond. They are easy to spot in flight because of the white 'window' on each black wingtip.

They are the same colour as Herring Gulls but smaller, and have dark eyes. Their legs are usually pale yellowish, sometimes pale grey.

Here is a Herring Gull in comparison. The eyes of adult birds are are yellow-green, and their legs are pinkish.

A descending Mute Swan waterskied to a halt on the Long Water.

A Moorhen wanted some of the Black Swan's food and approached cautiously ...

... but one look from those red eyes sent it skittering away.

Blondie the Egyptian Goose preened her big, complicated pale wings.

Grey Herons have bigger wings, and much untidier. This one was on a fallen tree near Peter Pan.

Next to it, a pair of Shovellers revolved together.

The yew tree near Peter Pan was full of  Rose-Ringed Parakeets eating the berries messily and wastefully, and dropping most of them.

A Grey Wagtail searched for bugs on one of the rafts of water plants at the east end of the Serpentine -- or rather, the raft that used to have plants on it till nesting Mute Swans trashed them. But the destruction gives the wagtail a clear run.

The Little Owl at the leaf yard came out of her hole for a short time, but it was too windy for her to stay out.

A clump of Little Japanese Umbrella mushrooms had come up on Buck Hill. These tiny frail things only last a day.


  1. The clip of the sun briefly lightening up the trees and making them almost catch fire with colour is pure magic. I imagine that is the light in which miracles happen.

    The moorhen was sensible in getting back, but of course there is a coot waiting for its chance.

    The Common Gull looks so innocent and harmless in comparison. It's clearly the dark eyes, which look less alien and cold than the yellow eyes of the rest of gulls.

    1. That was the only flash of sunlight in the whole grey day. What luck that I started shooting only seconds before it happened.

      Little Owls have yellow eyes but everyone thinks they're adorable. Human perception is a wonky thing.

  2. It's perhaps the frontal position of owls's eyes? They are very human-like in that respect.

    1. I'm sure it is. Anything that looks faintly like a baby and people start cooing.