Saturday, 14 April 2018

The Little Owl near the Albert Memorial had a Mallard on top of her nest hole. She looked indignant.

The bird-spattered statue of the goddess Diana on the fountain in the Rose Garden had to put up with a Magpie.

Roman statues had little metal umbrellas called menisci over their heads to keep them clean. You would have stopped noticing the meniscus after a while. There is a wall painting, I think from Pompeii, showing this arrangement, but I haven't been able to find a photgraph of it.

A Feral Pigeon had a shower under a water spout in the fountain.

A Blackbird sang in the Rose Garden. They never repeat a phrase exactly.

There are two singing male Chaffinches at opposite ends of the Rose Garden. I saw one of them chasing the other off a few days ago.

A Wren hopped around in a patch of scrub on Buck Hill.

I was photographing this Gery Heron at the top of a horse chestnut tree when it unexpectedly took off.

The herons in the nest on the Serpentine island seem to have some eggs now, since one of them was sitting down.

The female Mute Swan on the nest at the Lido restaurant terrace sat down as I approached, but I think I saw six eggs.

The pair nesting in the dangerous place on the east side of the Long Water are still there. The local foxes must be off somewhere else for the time being.

The Great Crested Grebes nesting farther north along this bank are often disturbed by aggressive Coots, a pair of which are also nesting only a few yards away.

The Great Crested Grebe on the stolen Coot nest on the island was dozing peacefully.

The Coots in the nest at the west end of the Lido were arranging a bit of plastic on their nest.

The nest itself is supported by plastic buoys on a plastic rope. Coots are not afraid of new materials.

The Moorhen nesting in the hawthorn tree on the Dell restaurant terrace could just be seen through the twigs.

The dark Mallard brothers were preening. The sunlight brought out the shine on their iridescent deep green heads.

The white Mallard was with his mate at the east end of the Serpentine, looking dazzlingly white in the sunlight.


  1. There is no birdsong I ever heard that I like better than the blackbird's. Endlessly inventive. I'm very glad that they live in the same land as me (wherever I've lived, and since a small child)

    1. Yes, they are the expert musicians among European birds. I love the jolly carelessness of Song Thrushes too, but with Blackbirds we are listening to musical composition.

    2. I have always held it agains their aesthetic sensibilities that ancient Greeks failed to mention or praise the Blackbird's fine song (except for Theocritus) while they went ga-ga over cicada noises.

      I've forgiven the Blackbird that sings in the dead of night near my window. When he doesn't wake me up in the middle of the night I begin to worry for him.

    3. I have a Blackbird outside my window too. It's such a familiar sound that it never disturbs me at all. But I did meet an Australian girl staying in London who complained about the bloody bird making a horrible noise that kept waking her up. It turned out that she meant the beautiful song of a Blackbird. The Australian poet Adam Lindsay Gordon wrote about the 'strange songless birds' of Australia. I suppose his countrymen aren't ready for such refined entertainment.