Thursday 6 December 2018

A pair of Black-Headed Gulls moaned affectionately at each other beside the Serpentine.

Another Black-Headed Gull struggled to keep its balance on a chain.

A young Herring Gull played with a bit of broken beer bottle, which had clearly been in the lake for some time as it was heavily encrusted.

This Herring Gull has a plastic ring with the unusual mark J+H. So far I've discovered that it's a British ring, but not yet where the gull is from.

The Black Swan was at the Vista as usual.

Mute Swans are fascinated by the water inlet in the Round Pond. I can see why they enjoy the jacuzzi effect, but why do they keep biting the metal deflector?

The waves on the Round Pond didn't stop a pair of Shovellers from feeding in their usual way.

Nor did they deter a Pied Wagtail, which found a larva on the spray-drenched edge.

A young Grey Heron waited hopefully on the wire baskets next to the bridge.

Cormorants have been fishing here with little success, and Great Crested Grebes aren't even bothering to look here. I think all the perch that hatched and grew here have long since moved out, or have been eaten.

A pair of herons called and displayed to each other in the upper nest on the island, which can only be seen when there are no leaves on the birch tree. Herons start nesting early, but this seems far too early. Have they been misled by the mild weather?

This tree beside the Serpentine (a black poplar, I think) has certainly been misled into putting out a shoot of new leaves. Many other trees are budding prematurely.

Snowdrops are out in the shrubbery at the southwest corner of the bridge.

All the fruit on the rowan tree on Buck Hill has been eaten, but there is still a good deal on the ground, and a Wood Pigeon was taking advantage of it.

The usual Jay was in the tree, raising its crest.

A Wren uttered alarm calls from a bramble. There was a Jay in the tree above it.

I've been asked for help finding the Little Owls, so I'm reprinting the first map ...

... and here's a new one for the leaf yard owls' new place near the Queen's Temple. The fourth diagram is probably of no use at this time of year, as the owl only uses the oak tree when it's in full leaf. It always perches on the topmost branch.


  1. Thank you for the maps. The directions are printed so clearly that even someone with utter inability to follow directions or read a map (that'd be me) would find it easier to find the trees.

    I can't decide if the Swan is showing affection or aggresion in its biting. Perhaps both.

    That poor tree. It is being too optimistic.

    1. The water deflector on the inlet pipe must be vibrating. Perhaps that gives the swan a buzz.

      Fortunately trees seem to be able to recover from putting out blossom or leaves too early.

  2. Thanks for the maps! Will let you know how we get on