Tuesday, 20 November 2018

A nasty cold dark wet day, but the Kestrel graced us with her presence. Here she is on Buck Hill near the children's playground.

There were plenty of Blackbirds eating fruit in the rowan tree.

Several Mistle Thrushes flew over the tree without stopping. In wet weather they can get all the worms they want.

The usual Jay appeared to demand a peanut.

Several flocks of Long-Tailed Tits were going around the park accompanied by other birds, mostly Blue Tits.

A Pied Wagtail ranged along the edge of the Serpentine.

A Moorhen explored a plastic bag to see if it contained anything edible.

The female Great Crested Grebe from the west end of the island remained in the place at the east end where the other pair of grebes nested. They stayed out on the lake, but occasionally she felt the need to do a slight rerritorial display to keep them there.

The brilliant white fronts of a pair of resting Shoveller drakes stood out in the shadows on the island.

They are considerably brighter than the all-white Mallard drake, who is a mild cream colour.

The young Mute Swan in the Italian Garden had heaved itself out of the pool and was resting on the pavement.

The submerged branches of the fallen willow tree near the bridge are a haven for fish, and one of the young Grey Herons was waiting to see if it could catch some of them.

A second-winter Herring Gull, still young enough to be playful, was messing around with a bit of duck tape that had been wrapped around something.

It was raining too hard to shoot any video, as the camera isn't waterproof. But, as it happens, the video that Johanna and I made about the pigeon-killing Lesser Black-Backed Gull has just gone over one million views on YouTube, and that is as good a reason as any to give the link again.

Finally, another shot by Ahmet Amerikali of the Black-Necked Grebes that were on the Serpentine on Saturday. I am still looking for them, but pretty sure that they have moved on.


  1. Wow, one million views! Congratulations!
    The young swan looks a bit exhausted. Is it well? Its left feet is in strange position.
    Dark and wet it may be, but the female kestrel would light up any day.

    1. Foot, not feet. Need more coffee.

    2. Swans do sprawl awkwardly. Later, I saw it back in the pool, perfectly OK.

      Seeing a raptor up close is a special experience. You are looking at something utterly wild, pitiless but not cruel, so different from the mental muddle of humanity.

  2. As it was a cold wet day I passed by the leaf yard with some pine nuts. There were scores of parakeets lining the railings and branches, and only a few small birds came out rather warily. It was only after I chased away the parakeets that they then came out in numbers. Have you noticed any changes? On cold days last year I would be mobbed by the tits before I could even reach the railings.

    1. Yes, I've noticed this too. Those parakeets are really poisoning the leaf yard. It's partly down to ignorant people feeding them all along the fence.

  3. I'm very much enjoying your coinage "duck tape", the one-stop tool for all one's anatid-adhering requirements.

    1. It really is, or ought to be, duck tape. It was originally made from cotton duck, a type of strong fabric. Also, it can't be used on hot-air central heating ducts because the glue loses hold when warmed, and a different kind of tape has to be used here.