Thursday 3 January 2019

The Grey Herons in the lowest nest on the island are now definitely sitting on eggs.

In the other three nests, the occupants are still standing up.

A tight group of Red-Crested Pochards rushed around near the Serpentine island. Inevitably, with four drakes and one female, there was a certain amount of conflict.

The odd group of one Red-Crested Pochard drake with a pair of Mallards can still be seen in the pond in the Italian Garden. They seem to have settled down peacefully together.

A Gadwall drake at Peter Pan showed off his beautifully vermiculated plumage.

A Mute Swan's bath involves splashing on a grand scale.

It's a tough life being a Black-Headed Gull. When you aren't being knocked off your perch by a Moorhen ...

... you're being evicted by a gull higher up in the pecking order.

But the mate of the pigeon-killing Lesser Black-Backed Gull has an easy time sharing his pigeons.

The gulls have already made a memorable mess of the tarpaulin over the pedalos moored for the winter. Bluebird Boats might as well go into the guano business.

Dunnocks spend much of their time under bushes and usually out of sight. This is one the familiar pair at the Lido, under a red-stemmed dogwood bush.

A Great Tit came out on top of the bush to be fed.

A Carrion Crow on the wall of the Italian Garden shelled a peanut with practised skill.

The Blackbird beside the Long Water arrived for his customary treat of sultanas.

Yet another Song Thrush was singing, on a cold and univiting day. This one was in a chestnut tree on the west side of the leaf yard.

The female Little Owl at the Queen's Temple stayed low in her hole to avoid the chilly wind.

Tom reports that the Waxwings moving down from the north have now reached Hampshire, where he took this fine picture (though it's a little too late for a Christmas card). We would be very lucky to see them in the park. There are too few trees with berries, and almost all of them have already been stripped by other birds.


  1. That is a lovely picture of the waxwings. It would indeed make a fine Christmas cards.

    Poor Black-Headed Gull. It must be the height of ignominy for a gull to be knocked off one's perch by a lowly Moorhen.

    Being a female duck is really anxious-inducing business.

    1. I've only ever seen Waxwings in the park once. When they come to London, they tend to hang around places like supermarket car parks that are planted around with small berry-bearing trees and bushes.

  2. Shame the Waxwings weren't in the park! I would have certainly paid a visit. Haven't seen any reported in the London area yet, though still plenty of time.Still I was very happy with 3 fairly local Short-eared Owls on Tuesday.

    1. The only Waxwings we have had in the park in recent years arrived as late as March, eating not berries but leaf buds on a poplar.