Thursday 30 November 2017

In the morning sunshine the male Little Owl near the leaf yard came out of his hole for five seconds, and I was lucky to get a picture.

Soon it started snowing. Some Mute Swans flew up the Serpentine.

In the middle of the Long Water a Cormorant caught a large fish.

As it was swallowing it, other Cormorants charged at it and tried to steal the fish.

A Moorhen walked through a group of bathing Starlings. If another bird's in the way, it has to move.

A young Herring Gull amused itself by throwing leaves about.

A female Pied Wagtail hunted near the Triangle car park.

A Wren came down to the edge of the pool at the top of the Dell Waterfall.

Flocks of Long-Tailed Tits flew round and round the lake -- or maybe it was the same flock seen again and again. I have no idea how many of these very noticeable birds there are in the park.

At the edge of the Long Water a Jay came out on a branch to demand a peanut.

The usual Robin came out too, but the Jay had to be fed first to get it out of the way, while the Robin stared impatiently.

Later the weather lightened up. Looking for the Little Owl in the oak near the Albert Memorial, I found a Green Woodpecker.

And during a moment of sunshine, Tom got a picture of a Nuthatch in the leaf yard.

Rose-Ringed Parakeets are messy eaters, and waste almost as much as they consume.

Wednesday 29 November 2017

Three Wrens were chasing each other at the Italian Garden, so preoccupied that they forgot to be shy. One posed on a bramble ...

... another on the twig of a winged elm tree ...

... and the third on the balustrade.

Just down the path, the white-faced Blackbird came out to be given sultanas.

On a cold morning the tits in the leaf yard were very hungry. Most of them here are Great Tits, with a few Blue Tits. They all like pine nuts.

So do the Coal Tits near the bridge.

But the Long-Tailed Tits stay away and hunt for insects.

No one was feeding the Rose-Ringed Parakeets in the usual place at the leaf yard, so they arrived in a mob when they saw us.

Another ate yellow berries in a tree next to the bridge.

A Magpie stared from the railings of the Diana fountain.

The second pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull, prowling in his usual place near the Triangle Car Park, also gave us a suspicious look.

The male Little Owl near the Albert Memorial was at the top of the oak tree.

Two Cormorants were fishing together at the bridge. The supply of fish is beginning to give out, but hunting cooperatively increases the catch for both.

Another preened on a post.

Tuesday 28 November 2017

Three Little Owls were on show today: the male in the horse chestnut tree between the leaf yard and the Queen's Temple ...

... the female in the oak tree near the Albert Memorial ...

... and, high in the same tree, her mate.

A flock of Long-Tailed Tits passed by.

We've had video of Starlings having a mass bath before, but it's still a pleasing spectacle.

Recently we had a picture of a Black-Headed Gull that had flown here from Lithuania. But this one's rings show that it's an Essex gull, hatched on a rubbish dump near Basildon.

A Lesser Black-Backed Gull was looking for worms in the enclosure of the Diana fountain. Unlike Herring Gulls, they don't patter their feet to bring up worms. They just peck at the ground, and seem to find plenty.

An Egyptian Goose was in the rapids bathing and scratching its head. I think it must have been itchy.

This is the original Diana fountain, now sited in the Rose Garden. But it has been in the park long before the princess was born. The statue on top is of the goddess Diana. She is shooting an arrow in the direction of the statue of Lord Byron in Park Lane, quite understandably.

The fountain has now become the home of a pair of Egyptian Geese.

There were four Grey Herons on the parapet of the Serpentine bridge.

The resident heron in the Dell finds fish both above the little waterfall ...

... and below it.

But for the fish it's a one-way journey, swept first over the weir from the Serpentine and down the big waterfall, then over this little one. For the rest of its course the Westbourne river flows in a uninviting pipe until it discharges into the Thames just above Chelsea Bridge.

The river used to flow into the Long Water where the Italian Garden is now, but when the Italian Garden was built around 1850 the water, which had become foul, was rerouted around the north edge of the park and now joins, and is diluted by, the little Tyburn Brook (not the same as the Tyburn river a mile to the east) and flows into the Serpentine near the Ranger's Lodge. The Long Water is now fed from a borehole.

Below the Italian Garden, a Cormorant caught a perch.

Monday 27 November 2017

This Blackbird is often seen on a soggy patch of grass at the Dell, next to the bicycle path. He takes no notice of the passing cyclists as he turns over the leaves.

I didn't get video of him catching anything, but did get stills of him with a worm, and then a woodlouse.

Just around the corner, a Wren was unusually obliging about being photographed.

The Goldcrests in the yew tree next to the Henry Moore sculpture were easy to see.

Charlie the Carrion Crow saw me on the bridge and came up to demand a peanut.

The usual two Little Owls could be seen near the Albert Memorial ...

... and the Henry Moore.

I haven't seen either of the owls at the leaf yard for a while. They may have gone inside the yard to get better cover from the annoying Magpies, who are more of a problem now that the leaves have fallen and the owls are more visible.

The Grey Heron at the Dell restaurant thought there might be some fish lurking under a lifebelt.

The pigeon-killing Lesser Black-Backed Gull had enjoyed his breakfast and flown away, leaving the remains for this Lesser Black-Back with pale yellow legs to finish.

Three Cormorants fished together under the parapet of the Italian Garden, bringing up fish but also leaves, which had to be separated and discarded.

I went to St James's Park to see how the Black Swans were doing. The romance is still on.

A pair of Little Grebes were fishing and calling to each other. One caught a fish.

Just three soldiers rode to perform the changing of the guard. I don't know whether this is the result of army cuts, or whether the rest of the regiment were standing with drawn swords around Meghan Markle.

Sunday 26 November 2017

Blondie's mate, filmed yesterday chasing another Egyptian Goose away. got into a serious battle today. The females looked on as the males fought. Afterwards Blondie and her mate enjoyed a moment of triumph.

Later, Blondie went by on her own. If she looks a bit ruffled, it's only because she's headed downwind.

Greylag Geese and a Lesser Black-Backed Gull were bathing in the Diana fountain. It's good to know that this very expensive structure is appreciated.

A Black-Headed Gull was getting its summer black head very early.

Moorhens can always dislodge these small gulls from their perches. The gulls know this, and leave promptly to avoid being pecked.

The two Little Grebes could be seen on the far side of the Long Water. If only they'd come nearer and allow a reasonable photograph.

An adult Great Crested Grebe and a teenager were fishing together under the willow tree near the bridge. Here for a change is the adult.

The female Little Owl near the Albert Memorial sunned herself in her hole in the oak tree.

The one near the Henry Moore sculpture was sitting low down in the hole.

Rose-Ringed Parakeets huddle in holes in cold weather. They are Indian birds and find the northern climate uncomfortable.

However, several successive winters without prolonged freezing conditions have been good for very small birds such as Goldcrests, and they are everywhere in the park.

So are Long-Tailed Tits -- you keep running into flocks of them.

The familiar Robin near the Rose Garden fountain came out to be fed.

On my way round the Serpentine I was pleased to be given a blessing.