Sunday 25 November 2018

The bird feeder in the Rose Garden is doing a roaring trade with Great Tits, Blue Tits and Coal Tits. So far the invasive Rose-Ringed Parakeets haven't found it.

A Great Tit perched in front of some unseasonal pink blossom on a bush near the bridge.

A Blue Tit ate a rowan fruit in the top of the the rowan tree on Buck Hill. It has picked off the fruit from the stem and is holding it down on the twig with one foot, as tits do.

The usual Blackbirds were busy lower down in the same tree.

There were no Mistle Thrushes here, but there was a single one in the Rose Garden. It caught a worm.

A Wood Pigeon ate ivy berries in the hedge at the back of the Lido.

A Carrion Crow bathed in the Serpentine.

A young Herring Gull played with a stone, dropping it into the lake and diving after it.

Adult Herring Gulls don't play so much, and this one was pecking at its stone, eating either the algae on it or some tiny creatures lurking in the algae.

The Lesser Black-Backed Gull with beige legs, which I think is trying to kill Feral Pigeons, stretched its long wings on the edge of the lake.

In the middle of the water another Lesser Black-Back was eating what looked like an entire freshly killed pigeon, but this picture was taken from a considerable distance and it's hard to tell. It's not the notorious pigeon-killing gull, whose head is much less streaked.

A Moorhen finished off the remains of another pigeon.

A top view of a female Mallard asleep near the Serpentine outflow.

The Black Swan enjoyed a temporary truce with the dominant Mute Swan family on the Long Water, thought both the adult male and the teenager looked slightly riled with their wings half raised.

This Mute Swan has been hanging around the lake for some time, looking miserable and droopy. It can't raise its wings, which are tatty from lack of preening. The people at Bluebird Boats are feeding it. The Wildlife Officer, Hugh Smith, is so far undecided about taking it into care, as it may stand a better chance of recovery if left in its home.

A ghostly apparition in the Italian Garden turned out to be a model doing a photo shoot for a wedding dress.


  1. You get to see all sorts of interesting things at the park.

    Poor swan. It really looks very ill. Has it got any broken bones? Thank God for the super-excellent folks at Bluebird Boats.

    I loved the clip of the busy feeder. I am sure that the small birds are grateful for Ralph's ingenuity and providence.

    1. I think the swan may be suffering from botulism. The organism, Clostridium botulinum, is always present in small amounts at the edges of lakes and ponds, and waterfowl can tolerate low levels of it. But the hot summer caused it to multiply, and we are still seeing the results. There is a Canada Goose with similar symptoms.

  2. Hi Ralph,

    just a note to say that the sick Canada Goose unfortunately died. I can comfort myself knowing he didn’t die of starvation.

    1. Sad but inevitable. It had been getting visibly worse.

  3. Can I ask : did you change the set-up/lay-out/look of the blog -the last few days (or is my computer playing up again)?

    1. strange: now I've posted the above, my screen returned to the previous view- so it was my comp. Sorry to have bothered !