Thursday 17 January 2019

Several Redwings were looking for worms in the grass near the Serpentine Gallery.

There was a Mistle Thrush with them, one of a pair that are among the few permanently resident Mistle Thrushes in the park -- the rest are winter migrants. It's used to people passing by and you can get quite close to it.

Long-Tailed Tits ranged through the trees on the edge of the Serpentine. They looked so pretty in the sunlight that I think we can have two pictures of them.

The Little Owl at the Queen's Temple was also enjoying the sunshine.

A Carrion Crow drank from a muddy puddle in the sand of the horse ride.

A Little Grebe uttered its giggling call from the far side of the Serpentine, and I managed to get a very distant picture of it skulking under a dead branch. Of course I wouldn't have seen it at all if it hadn't called.

A Great Crested Grebe preened imperturbably while being bounced up and down by the choppy little waves produced by a brisk wind.

Two Coots were enjoying a fight.

A small group of Shovellers fed under the parapet of the Italian Garden, gyrating in pairs because there weren't enough of them to form one of their grand shovelling circles.

A fleet of Tufted Ducks remained at a safe distance from the whirling Shovellers.

The two Gadwalls were still in the Italian Garden fountain eating things on and just below the surface. I looked carefully into the water to see what it might be. On a sunny day you can see water fleas (Daphnia) zooming around in the water, but I couldn't spot any.

There was a rabbit under the Henry Moore sculpture, preferring to eat dry dead grass rather than the available fresh grass. It's the first rabbit I've seen for months. Every year you think they've been completely wiped out by myxomatosis and foxes, but somehow they manage to bounce back.


  1. I wish I could see a shovelling circle. It must be an unforgettable, if dizzying, spectacle.

    Too much of a good thing doesn't apply to pictures of Long Tailed Tits. They are adorable.

    1. A grand shovelling circle is less dizzying to watch than two birds spinning together, because as a whole it revolves much more slowly. The impression is stately. But from the way they revolve singly or in pairs, it's clear that Shovellers simply don't get dizzy. Their inner ears must be organised differently from ours.