Saturday 12 January 2019

There were three Song Thrushes singing in Kensington Gardens and two in Hyde Park. We must have had an influx of migrants. These birds do sing in winter on sunny days, but it was dull and dark today and there was little to set them off, except perhaps hearing others.

There was one beside the Long Water.

And this is the thrush that I videoed yesterday singing beside the Serpentine, but I couldn't resist getting a bit more of its cheerful song.

On the ground underneath a male Blackbird turned over leaves, looking for insects and worms, until confronted by a little female Chaffinch which for some reason scared him away. But he did find a worm a few seconds later.

One of the male Chaffinches in the Rose Garden couldn't get near a feeder as it was infested with Rose-Ringed Parakeets.

A Wren appeared briefly in the shadows of the woodland on the east side of the Long Water.

A Carrion Crow at the Lido restaurant extracted a bread bag from a bin, but had to work hard to get out the last bits.

It's been three weeks since I last saw one of the Little Owls in the oak near the Albert Memorial, but the female was here today.

The Grey Heron sitting in the lower nest on the island looked up as its mate came into land.

A young Herring Gull played with a stick, but soon tired of it ...

... and found a beer bottle instead, which amused it for some time. As you can see, it was able to pick up this wide, slippery and quite heavy object.

The was such a mob of Mute Swan and Coots where someone was feeding them that a Black-Headed Gull couldn't find anywhere clear to touch down. So it landed on a swan.

A small group of Shovellers revolved at Peter Pan. But it hasn't been a good year for them. In the past we have had 50 or more feeding in grand circular processions.

These Great Crested Grebes at the island are an established pair, and have already finished their courtship dances for the time being. Now there's a brief but affectionate display and the pair go off side by side to look for a nest site.

Two pairs of grebes are reserving nest sites on the east side of the Long Water near the bridge, about twenty yards from each other which is too close to avoid conflict. Occasionally they do a bit of desultory nest building, but then let it fall apart.

There are now regularly five Cormorants on the tern raft in the Long Water.

Fibreglass Penguins are regular winter visitors, but only stay for a few weeks and are leaving already.


  1. Fibreglass penguins are as much of a nuisance as parakeets, I gather.

    Song Thrushes' s singing always makes the world a better place.

    Perhaps the Blackbird thought the harmless chaffinch was a mouse? Mice can be dangerous.

    Did the swan object with sufficient vehemence to becoming a landing strip for gulls?

    1. I am baffled by that female Chaffinch. But she definitely did give the Blackbird a severe stare and he retreated at once.

      The Black-Headed Gull only stayed on the Mute Swan for a couple of seconds and was gone by the time the swan turned round to snap at it. This was a chance shot and I don't have a sequence.