Sunday 7 October 2018

It wasn't this Cormorant's day.

It flew into the fallen poplar at the Vista, tried to land on a branch, lost its footing ...

... and crashed ignominiously into the water among some surprised Tufted Ducks.

When it got back into the tree it was taunted by a Magpie.

A Snipe suddenly flew on to a fallen tree a short way off. I didn't find it in time to take a picture before it vanished into the bushes, but David Element was quicker and this is his photograph.

A Pochard skittered across the water below.

A Shoveller drake almost in full plumage looked fine in the low sunshine.

It was joined by another. The head-bobbing display is here not an invitation to mate, but a sign of rivalry.

At the edge of the water, a Black-Headed Gull scavenged some repulsive-looking object, which it ate.

The young Mute Swan in the Italian Garden fountain was joined by two others.

Perhaps they take refuge here from the persistent attacks of the dominant male swan on the Long Water.

A flock of Long-Tailed Tits worked its way along the small trees at the edge of the Serpentine.

A female Blackbird looked for berries in the yew tree at the bottom corner of the Dell.

On the lawn between here and the Rose Garden, a Carrion Crow was eating a pigeon that had clearly been killed by a Sparrowhawk, as scattered feathers showed. Evidently the hawk had been scared away by the arrival of the Sunday crowds.

The male Chaffinch in the Rose Garden can reliably be seen near the feeder at the southwest corner, waiting for a gap in the procession of Rose-Ringed Parakeets.


  1. Cormorants are very efficient birds in the water but they seem to be rather clumsy on dry land! In St James’s Park they stand on Pelican rock which suits them much better

    1. Their webbed feet are simply not adapted for perching in trees. But they still try.

  2. Poor Cormorant. To humiliate itself like that, and to further compound the indignity, to be publicly mocked by a Magpie. I never thought the day would come in which I would pronounce a bird ungainly, but here we are.

    It must be difficult to be proficient at Duckspeak. You see someone making a beeline for you while bobbing its head. Only this time head-bobbing doesn't mean "come nearer" but rather "get away from me".

    1. I once saw a flying swan trying to make a U-turn over the Long Water and misjudging its turning circle so that it crashed into a treetop. It fell to the ground through the branches. It landed completely unhurt, but I have never seen such an angry bird.

    2. Oh, I need more details! What did it do? Look indignant, hiss, bite anything that moved?

    3. Exactly, after it had recovered from the initial shock, which took a couple of minutes.