Wednesday 5 December 2018

The two Black Swans that visited the park have left already, and are probably back in St James's Park. The usual Black Swan flew down the Serpentine, heading for the Vista where I found her later. As she approached in very dim light, I couldn't see anything but a pair of white wingtips and couldn't think what they were, so I didn't get a picture till she had gone past.

A Mute Swan driven off the Long Water by the dominant swan started the long trek up to the Round Pond, almost half a mile and a long way for a swan to walk. I was worried about it being attacked by dogs and went over to guard it, but as I was coming out of the trees it made a run and, with an enormous effort, took off from the ground. Sadly I didn't have a clear view to catch this on video.

Two male swans made a temporary alliance ...

... to attack a harmless teenager minding its own business.

A pair of Gadwalls, long absent from the park, appeared at Peter Pan. Here is the female.

The Bar-Headed--Greylag hybrid goose showed up on the Serpentine.

A Moorhen ate the flowers in a planter on the Bluebird Boats platform.

At the island, the pair of Great Crested Grebes which nested at the east end have reclaimed their territory ...

... driving out one of the grebes from the other end of the island, which went off in a defensive attitude calling for its mate.

A pair of Grey Herons greeted each other.

On the other side of the lake, three herons perched in a willow tree. Some distance apart was needed to avoid a fight breaking out.

Black-Headed Gulls don't often visit the little stream in the Dell, where there is really nothing for them to eat. One of them found a stick, and in a moment two others were trying to grab it.

Another jealously guarded two algae-encrusted stones which must have been fished out by a Herring Gull. Gulls seem to find these stones valuable, and not just as toys. Evidently there are edible invertebrates in the algae.

There were half a dozen Mistle Thrushes in the rowan tree on Buck Hill, more than I've seen there for some times.

They and the Blackbirds were having to reach for the last few berries on the tips of the branches.

A Magpie seized a peanut which I had put down for the local Jay. There is no need to feed Magpies, as they raid the other birds with great efficiency.

Another Jay looked out of the winter flowering cherry bush at the bridge.

There was a Robin under the feeder in the Rose Garden, which came out to be given some pine nuts, a greater treat than the sunflower seeds in the feeder.


  1. That Swan's heavy gait looks almost painful. It must be quite an effort to haul off all that mass up a long trek, with only hollow bones so support you.The world from the point of the view of a swan is always so unforgiving.

    I would give much to know what goes through the Gulls' little heads at times like that. I do hope it goes beyond, gimme gimme gimme + mine mine mine.

    Lovely, lovely Robin!

    1. My stones! Lovely stones! You shan't have them!