Saturday 21 October 2017

It was a windy day.

After the exotic creatures at Rainham yesterday, we're back to the ordinary birds in the park.

All the Great Crested Grebes have left except for the family with three teenage chicks, which aren't quite old enough to fly yet.

Grebes often move to the Thames when frosty weather is coming, but it is unusual for them to be disturbed by a gale.

The pigeon-killing Lesser Black-Backed Gull had caught a pigeon and was eating it, watched by an envious Carrion Crow.

He had evidently eaten his fill, because he swam away and left the remains to the crow.

When I came back later, two crows were sharing the last bits without quarrelling, an unusual sight. They must have been mates.

The second pigeon-killing gull, at the other end of the Serpentine, staked out out a territory on land and water and in the air by swaggering around it, shooing other gulls away, and calling. The upward jerk of the head signifies 'Don't mess with me.'

A young Black-Headed Gull played with a dead leaf.

A Cormorant landed on the last unoccupied post in front Peter Pan.

There was a Cormorant in the middle of the Serpentine which seemed to have caught a fish and picked up some algae with it. This often happens, and the Cormorants are adept at separating the fish from the weed. But this one seemed to be taking a very long time, so I took a very distant photograph. You can see that the fish has come up tangled in a bit of plastic netting.

This stuff is a serious pollutant. It nearly killed the Grey Heron at the east end of the lake when the bird got its beak stuck in a bit of netting, and had to be netted to get it off. I've published this video on the blog already, but no harm in seeing it again.

The Black Swan was shooed away by the dominant Mute Swan at the west end of the Serpentine. But he is no fun to chase, as he just dodges out of the way and comes back immediately.

So the big bully went after another swan, and had a satisfying chase right down the lake.

A Goldcrest jumped on to a twig in a bush beside the Long Water.

A Nuthatch looked out of the yew tree on the corner of the leaf yard, waiting to come down and take food from the railings.


  1. The Black Swan is much too agile for the Incredible Swan Hulk.

    What a wonderful picture of the jumping Goldcrest! Perfect timing.

    There is something very endearing in how seemingly clumsy cormorants are. They are fast and deft enough for what they do, though.

    Always a joy to see the clip of the rescued Heron!

    1. I was trying to photograph the Goldcrest standing still, but that is a very momentary event, and I was lucky that it only jumped a short way and stayed in the frame.

      It's rare to see a Cormorant swimming under water, but they seem to be swift and agile, and quite graceful in a heavy way.