Monday 29 January 2018

The elusive Kingfisher has reappeared on the Long Water, and Virginia got this picture of it in a bush on the west side of the Long Water, seen from the parapet of the Italian Garden.

She also captured a Shoveller drake flapping, showing off iridescent green secondaries to match his brilliant head.

A Cormorant fishing in the old water filter under the marble fountain at the edge of the Italian Garden shook off some algae that had come up with its latest catch. A dramatic shot by David Element.

Also by him, a Black-Headed Gull washing ...

... and a pair of Magpies, already in the mood for nesting.

Eleanor took this picture of one of the hungry Jays that follow you around expecting to be given peanuts.

Some people have complained to me that they don't see many Jays in the park. If you feed them, it's a different story.

The Rose-Ringed Parakeets, not content with being pampered by countless visitors, have taken matters into their own capable beaks and feet. They can undo the catch on top of a bird feeder in seconds. Picture by Achmet Amerikali.

When these birds first arrived, the gardeners who refill the feeders tried to exclude the parakeets by covering the feeders with wire mesh. The parakeets ripped it to shreds in days.

Virginia sent this general shot of the Dell taken last summer. As well as the inevitable Feral Pigeons, can you find two Grey Herons, Two Mallards, three Moorhens and a rat?

A recent picture by Virginia, from the island where the herons are beginning to nest. The partner not on the nest balanced precariously in a tree.

More herons from farther afield: a Bittern blending perfectly into the reeds at the Barnes Wetland Centre, taken by David Element. When they stand in the typical upright Bittern pose with beak pointing upwards they become completely invisible.

And another from Cali in Colombia by David Holland, a Striated Heron, Butorides striatus.

A view of Los Barruecos in Extremadura, by Tinúviel. These are escaped domestic geese which have gone feral. They are with what looks to be an ordinary wild Greylag. These geese are genetically Greylags anyway, and successive generations will interbreed and revert to the usual grey colour.

A pleasing bit of video by Tom of the solitary Waxwing which appeared at Rainham Marshes a year ago and became quite used to the crowds of visitors who came to look at it.

With luck I should be back on my feet in a few days and able to visit the park again and show you the pictures of the day. But I may be restricted for a while in the distance I can walk. So please keep sending your photographs, which have added a lot of interest to the blog. The email address for pictures is always in the right column .


  1. That picture of the Dell is just like a view of paradise before the fall. That's my new mental picture of Tolkien's Shire.

    There is so much talent in all the pictures that I don't even know where to begin.

    Great to hear that you are on the mend!

    1. The Dell was very carefully laid out and planted to give this lovely view up to the waterfall in the background. It's was railed off as a bird sanctuary in 1922, but is too small to have much though there is a thriving colony of Wrens.

      In the 18th and early 19th centuries it was a favourite place for duelling, and much blood has been spilt here. Good for the plants, anyway.

    2. I didn't know that. Leave it to the human species to sully nature's beauty even at our own cost.

  2. Great pictures.
    I saw a heron at the Dell on Friday. It was elegantly stalking prey in the stream

    1. There are quite a lot of smallish fish in the stream, washed over the weir from the Serpentine. There are also some large carp, too big for the heron.