Wednesday 9 January 2019

A Robin near the bridge hopped out on to the path and accepted some pine nuts that I threw on the ground for it. It doesn't know me well enough to come to my hand.

A second Robin came out, and the two tolerated each other. They seem to be abandoning their hostile isolation and pairing up unusually early this year.

But it was hostilities as usual in the Rose Garden. One Robin ticked aggressively at another in a nearby bush, warning the other bird to keep out of its territory. You can hear the other replying.

A Chaffinch waited under one of the feeders in the Rose Garden to pick up falling seeds. This isn't the one I photographed yesterday. There are at least three males and one female in the Rose Garden.

A Pied Wagtail hunted along the edge of the Serpentine at the Lido. This very confident bird is probably the one I videoed on Friday, running around my feet on the restaurant terrace.

A small group of Long-Tailed Tits worked their way along the edge of the Long Water.

A Jackdaw on a stone urn in the Italian Garden held down a peanut with its feet and rapidly pecked through the shell.

The strong prehensile feet of the crow family are a great asset to them. When a gull gets a bit of bread it struggles to swallow it whole, but a Carrion Crow takes it to the edge of the lake, holds it in the water to soften it, and pecks out comfortable sized mouthfuls.

The female Little Owl near the Queen's Temple looked down from her hole.

The Grey Herons were together in the lower nest on the island.

This is the only nest where you can see the sitting bird. The others are too high, and you can only guess what's going on in them.

The Great Crested Grebes at the collapsed willow near the bridge continue to build their nest. It's the usual vague and sloppy construction, and bits of it keep drifting away.

A pair of  Shovellers rested on the dead willow near the Italian Garden. The female languidly stretched out one complicated wing.

Air bubblers have been installed in the lake in the belief that the water is not sufficiently oxygenated. They probably don't make much difference to the oxygen level, but they do bring up a lot of silt, and with it the tiny creatures that Shovellers filter out of the water.

Some of the little group of Red-Crested Pochards on the Serpentine preened on the shore. One of the drakes gave the female an irritable peck, unwise because she is the only female present and all the drakes are trying to impress her.

The Bar-Headed--Greylag Goose hybrid from St James's Park was on the Serpentine again.


  1. I love the picture of the two Robins in the matching orange scenery. They are the prettiest ornaments, and are even lovelier when angry and ticking.

    Did the Pied Wagtail look up when it heard a Herring Gull's cry? It appeared to be getting nervous.

    Konrad Lorenz said that a bird's intelligence was proportional to its ability to cause indiscriminate damage. Given that, Crows will always get the upper hand.

    1. It may have been the gull's cry that made the Pied Wagtail pause and look up. It also looked at me, since I was following it closely along the shore.

      Judging by the remarks of people who keep parrots, these are more destructive than crows.

  2. Hi Ralph

    As always, thanks for your excellent blog.

    Can you let us know how high up the tree the Little Owl's hole is - I am fairly sure that I found the right tree but I couldn't even find the hole, let alone the owl!

    1. About 30 ft up, third big branch up from the bottom on the left, big round hole.