Sunday 20 January 2019

A beautiful sunny day brought out two Little Owls, the one near the Henry Moore sculpture ...

... and the reliable one at the Queen's Temple.

But it was quite cold, and a Robin beside the Long Water fluffed itself up to the max.

Long-Tailed Tits passed through the trees near the bridge.

A  Wren came down to drink on the edge of the waterfall in the Dell.

A Pied Wagtail poked around at the Lido.

A Jackdaw shelled a peanut ...

... and a Jay waited to fly down and take one.

The Grey Herons in the lowest nest on the island changed places. When one arrived to relieve its mate, the pair stood side by side for a few minutes. Then the other bird flew away. The heron adjusted the twigs slightly, turned over the eggs to keep them evenly warmed, and settled down comfortably on them.

When you know that a young gull is a Lesser Black-Back, it's easy to see that it is -- smaller and slimmer than a Herring Gull, darker in colour and with an all-black bill.

But if you don't know already, they're hard to tell apart because there is some overlap in size and colour. I knew what this one was because I saw it fly in, and the wings are the only reliable sign. Young Lesser Black-Backs have all-dark flight feathers, while Herring Gulls have paler inner primaries.

Under the fountain on the edge of the Italian Garden there is a submerged semicrcular wall that is part of the original Victorian water system. It's a sheltered place where fish congregate and spawn. Some of the gratings on top are broken, so that Cormorants can get in. They remove so many fish from this small space that it's amazing that there are any left.

The Great Crested Grebes from the west end of the island were having another territorial dispute, this time with the pair on the other side. They sallied out menacingly ...

... but it didn't end in a fight, and after a bit of circling and snarling both pairs retreated. This is the other pair congratulating each other afterwards.

The sunlight lit up the brilliant ginger head of a Red-Crested Pochard drake, and his improbably bright red bill.


  1. So are the white-faced blackbird and Charlie and Melissa no more? When were they last seen? Jim

    1. Charlie and Melissa and two of their offspring can be found on the north shore of the Serpentine near the bridge. But so can a lot of other Carrion Crows, so it's a bit confused. I'm sorry to say that the white-faced Blackbird is gone. The life of wild birds is not long. I have another Blackbird here, a male, who is becoming friendly.