Wednesday 28 February 2018

A Magpie cleared the snow from the grass so that it could look for worms.

A Carrion Crow was just beginning to do the same.

Surprisingly, only a few Great Tits ...

... and Blue Tits came out to be fed at the leaf yard.

But Tom got a good picture of a Song Thrush later ...

... and some Redwings driven off the open grass by the snow.

The Little Owls were understandably sheltering. But Tom had come from Richmond Park, where he found one out on a branch.

It started to snow quite hard as I passed the Peter Pan statue. Some Black-Headed Gulls stood impassively on the ice.

The trio of the Red Crested Pochard and the Mallards were on one of the Italian Garden ponds, where the fountain kept an area of water open. The pochard was better off than the others, as he could dive to the bottom of the pond to find food.

A Mute Swan was looking whiter than usual, as its back was covered with snow.

Greylag Geese, Gadwalls and an unexpected Little Grebe moved along a clear passage in the frozen Long Water. Little Grebes can survive by fishing under the ice as long as there is a tiny bit of open water where they can surface.

Two Greylags were fighting at the island.

Above them, the nesting Grey Herons were having an uncomfortable time. One stood in a tree above its mate, whose nest was covered with snow.

A Pied Wagtail was finding small edible creatures on the edge of the Serpentine.

A Rose-Ringed Parakeet was looking sad in the Rose Garden, but cheered up considerably when I filled up one of Rani's feeders.

The local Robin had to wait till it had finished.

A bather displayed unnecessary fortitude at the Lido.

Tuesday 27 February 2018

A view from the Italian Garden loggia to the Long Water during a morning snow shower.

Someone had given one of the nymphs a jaunty ice fascinator.

There had been less wind in the night, so some ice had formed on the Italian Garden ponds. A first-year Herring Gull bit experimentally at this interesting substance.

A Moorhen ate a bit of kiwi fruit that someone had dropped. Birds -- even the omnivorous Moorhens -- don't usually bother with watery fruit, so it must have been very hungry.

A Mandarin drake dashed around while people fed the ducks in front of the Peter Pan statue.

A female was also there, so they aren't all nesting.

A pair of Gadwalls fed on the edge of the Serpentine, untroubled by the falling snow.

Surprisingly, two Little Owls were out, the hardy female in the lime tree near the Henry Moore sculpture ...

... and the one in the oak near the Albert Memorial, fluffed up against the cold.

Two Jays followed me down the Long Water, begging for peanuts. The frozen ground makes it hard for them to dig up the nuts they have buried themselves.

A Carrion Crow probed the bark of a cherry tree, looking for bugs.

There were lots of Redwings to the east of the Dell ...

... and some at Queen's Gate, but it was one of the Mistle Thrushes that got the worm while I was there.

During a brief interval of hazy sunlight, a Pied Wagtail hunted insects on the path. Even in icy weather there are tiny larvae to be had.

A Robin perched on a tree stump, waiting to be fed. It needs to snow a bit more before I can get a classic Christmas card shot.

Monday 26 February 2018

There was a brief but heavy snow shower in the late morning. Black-Headed Gulls take such things in their stride.

There were at least a dozen Gadwalls on the Serpentine, far more than usual. Maybe the freezing of another lake has brought them in. Both the Serpentine and the Long Water were still ice-free today, on account of the brisk east wind.

Fran sent this excellent picture of Mute Swans fighting on the Long Water, where the dominant swan often has to get violent to keep his territory clear of intruders.

This is a hastily snatched and rather indistinct view of Great Crested Grebes mating on a nest under a tree beside the Long Water. Both enjoy the brief moment. Note the courtesies afterwards.

The Redwings were between the Dell and the Rose Garden again. By the time I shot this, it had more or less stopped snowing and the frozen ground had thawed a bit, so the worm hunt could carry on.

The pair of Mistle Thrushes near the Serpentine Gallery were also at work.

Not snow but couscous. Visitors have strange ideas about what birds like, or more likely just don't think. Moorhens will eat just about anything.

The pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull had claimed a new victim near the Dell restaurant.

On the opposite shore, a pair of Carrion Crows were finishing off the remains of his previous meal. If the crow on the left can get plenty of nutritious pigeon, its next set of wing feathers will be shining black instead of the bleached grey that indicates a poor diet.

Next to them, a Pied Wagtail ran around looking for insect larvae.

The cold snap can't stop spring from happening. In the Rose Garden, a Blue Tit perched among newly sprouted rose leaves.

The Robin who owns the tree with the feeder looked over his territory.

A pair of Dunnocks hopped around underneath the feeder picking up spillage.

This fine picture of a Coal Tit is by Mark Williams. It shows how tiny they are.

Sergey Anpilov sent a charming picture of a Long-Tailed Tit.

A Wren in the reed bed near the Lido gave an excellent impression of a dead leaf.

Sunday 25 February 2018

In spite of the cold spell, spring is unstoppable and trees are blossoming all over the park. A Wood Pigeon was eating flower buds.

A pair of Greylag Geese were mating at the east end of the Serpentine.

So were a pair of Coots on the Round Pond.

Most of the Shovellers had flown up from the lake to the Round Pond. They spun in pairs, because there were not enough of them to create one of their grand circular feeding processions, for which about 50 birds are needed.

A Mute Swan executed a right turn over the Long Water.

They have a very wide turning circle and have to get above the treetops to turn. I've seen a swan that didn't do this crash into a tree and fall ignominiously through the branches to the ground, fortunately without huring anything but its dignity.

This is not a problem for Common Gulls, which can turn on a sixpence.

A Great Spotted Woodpecker was drumming at the top of a tree in the leaf yard.

A Jackdaw perched on a lower branch.

A Blue Tit waited at a convenient height for flying over to take a pine nut from my hand.

A Robin perched on a net over a reed bed bear the Vista, also waiting to be fed.

A little flock of Starlings had discovered a good patch of wireworms on the Vista, and were making the most of it until disturbed by an approaching dog.

The flock of Redwings was on the grass between the Dell and the Rose Garden, surprisingly calm among the Sunday visitors walking nearby. One pulled up a worm.

The Wren in the Flower Walk was also unworried, though it did have to get off the crowded path and move into a flower bed.

The Little Owl near the Albert Memorial had come out of her hole and was sunning herself near the top of the oak tree, in spite of the freezing wind.

At the Vista, a model for a yoghurt advertisement was doing her best to pretend it was summer.