Friday 26 October 2018

Glad to say that the Black Swan is still on the Serpentine ...

... but the dominant Mute Swan was not so pleased.

The sunlight caught the dark green head of a Shoveller drake as he spun at the Vista.

There were two Red-Crested Pochard drakes under the trees at the edge.

Coots were fighting as usual ...

... and a Great Crested Grebe was doing nothing except looking elegant.

At the bridge a Grey Heron and a Cormorant took a rest from fishing.

The old heron nest on the island, now partly collapsed, still makes a useful perch.

A squirrel insouciantly sat on a tree under the terrible beak of a heron.

Feeding the birds at the Dell restaurant attracts a dense cloud of Black-Headed Gulls.

A flock of about thirty Mistle Thrushes flew over Buck Hill. Later I found them in the rowan trees ...

... and on the grass.

The people who feed the Rose-Ringed Parakeets at the leaf yard also attract large numbers of Magpies.

A Jay hopped around on the grass near the Rose Garden, perhaps looking for worms, perhaps trying to remember where it buried an acorn.

Another perched in a horse chestnut tree near the Italian Garden ...

... as a flock of Long-Tailed Tits passed through the hawthorns.

A Coal Tit looked out from a holly tree near the bridge.

Refilling the feeders in the Rose Garden immediately attracted a Chaffinch, which took a seed and ate it on a branch.


  1. Hi Ralph,

    Any tips on where best to see the Little Owls these days?

    I will be birding in the park for a few hours tomorrow morning (Sat 27th Oct).

    Thanks and all the best,

    1. The Little Owls are being really difficult. On Friday morning one called from a tree at the south end of Buck Hill, above the Henry Moore sculpture, but three of us couldn't find it. Not a squeak from the leaf yard or the Albert Memorial, and I haven't seen the one in the oak near Bluebird Boats for several weeks. Sorry to be discouraging. There is just an owl famine.

  2. I really enjoyed seeing the Black Swan today - just like old times!
    I also went up to the Round Pond and saw a Bar-Headed Goose and around a dozen Common Gulls

    1. Glad to hear the Common Gulls are beginning to arrive in reasonable numbers. Will try to get pictures. The Bar-Headed Geese drift in and out at random from St James's Park.

  3. Some great photos as ever. Particularly enjoyed the close-up of the drake Shoveler showing the colours so vividly + the typical feeding behaviour.

    1. More have arrived today. But the days when we used to get 200 and they made grand feeding circles seem to have gone.

    2. If one shoveller hard at revolving makes one dizzy, what would 200 do?!

      The dominant Mute Swan is too much of a brute, I think. My old sensei used to say, "strength will always beat skill".

    3. When there are about 50 Shovellers they form a grand, wide circular procession, which is a wonderful sight. But as things stand, we don't have enough to witness the spectacle.

      Strength wins all with swans, because these oafish great birds have no skill at all. They can hardly walk, and in the air are about as manoeuvrable as airliners.