Friday 28 December 2018

The pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull stalked along the edge of the Serpentine, eyeing a bathing Feral Pigeon.

He saw his opportunity and pounced.

There are Grey Herons all over the place, including eight attending to the four nests on the island and these two on the electric boats moored next to it.

Another walked carefully over the stones in the lower waterfall in the Dell, looking for lurking fish.

A Cormorant fishing in the Long Water near the Italian Garden came up with just a disappointing beakful of leaves.

A pair of Egyptian Geese which had been displaying on a tree top in the Dell came down to the stream for a wash and preen.

A pair of Red Crested Pochards cruised past the island.

I heard a Little Grebe calling on the Long Water, near the bank on the same side as me so that it was impossible to see. So I rushed to the Italian Garden and managed to snatch a distant shot of it heading away.

The female Little Owl at the Queen's Temple was chased into her hole by Magpies. A few minutes later she looked suspiciously out from the bottom of the hole to see if they had gone. I had to take this picture from too far away, because of the awkward angle.

David Element found her on the edge of the hole, which allows you to get closer and look up to her, and took this fine picture.

The Carrion Crow that I filmed yesterday rooting in a planter in the Italian Garden was at it again today, in the same planter. It leaves the other ones completely alone. Conehead54 thinks it's digging up vine weevils.

The crows at the Lido restaurant know that the green and gold foil packets contain delicious butter, and make a beeline for them as soon as a table is vacated.

In the rowan tree on Buck Hill, there are still a few bunches of fruit in hard-to-reach places on the tips of twigs. A Blackbird had been attending to one, and flew away with a last fruit in its beak.

This female Chaffinch in the leaf yard occasionally comes out to the front. I haven't got her interested in taking food yet, but Chaffinches will come to your hand if you are patient with them.

A small group of Long-Tailed Tits were moving around the feeders in the Dell.

A Goldcrest appeared for a moment in a tree at the top of the Dell.


  1. Is the Black Swan still around? I didn’t see her today.
    There was a Green Woodpecker hopping around some long grass not far from the Queen’s Temple

    1. No, she's gone back to St James's Park. Much missed.

      I've seen that Green Woodpecker several times near the Queen's Temple. Hard to spot in the grass, so usually you disturb it and it flies into a tree.

    2. Awww, has she? Why did she leave us so? I hope it wasn't on account of that brute of a dominant Mute Swan.

    3. Who can say what goes through her little black head?

  2. I wonder how the Goldcrests are coping in the December cold. They are so tiny and frail-looking.

    The Little Owl does look kind of put upon, looking at her closely.

    I wish Little Grebes weren't so timid. I would have imagined they would display the same regal indiference towards humans their bigger cousins show.

    Dunno about the Crow. It behaves exactly like a toddler bent on revenge would.

    1. We have plenty of Goldcrests because of several successive mild winters. But one real frosty spell and numbers will crash appallingly.

      Some of the Little Grebes in Regent's Park are amazingly indifferent to people. I've stood on the edge of the water and seen them diving inches from my toes.

      Crows and toddlers are very similar.

  3. Could you ask that Crow to come and eat my vine weevils please?

  4. I have; and yet they return. Crow may be more efficient, although neighbours might take exception.