Monday 18 February 2019

It was a dull grey day of intermittent drizzle, and the park was almost deserted. This allowed the small birds to come out, and there was a good view of a male Chaffinch in the Rose Garden ...

... a Dunnock in the woodland on the east side of the Long Water ...

... and a Robin looking rather depressed on a dripping twig nearby.

But wet conditions are pleasing for Blackbirds.

The Redwings and Fieldfares on the Parade Ground were all in the trees. This is a rather pale Fieldfare, preumably a first-winter bird.

The only bird on the ground here was a Pied Wagtail. It was calling loudly, maybe to contact others in the distance.

There has been a Grey Wagtail around the east end of the Serpentine for several days, but I didn't manage to get a picture of it till today. This is probably a first-winter female, lacking a grey bib, but in fact all the Grey Wagtails we get here seem to be light coloured.

Tom was at Rainham, and sent an excellent picture of a male Blackcap.

Both Peregrines were on the barracks.

Later one disappeared, and when I saw it again it was at the back of the ledge with only its head visible. Something fell off the ledge, which was presumably an inedible bit of a pigeon it had caught.

The female Little Owl at the Albert Memorial was briefly visible, but went back into her hole as I watched.

During a shower, the Grey Heron on the nest huddled down with outstretched wings to shelter the chicks.

The Great Crested Grebes from the east end of the island were displaying to warn off an intruding pair on the edge of their territory.

A Cormorant on the Long Water near the Italian Garden was carrying a twig. There was another Cormorant nearby. I don't think this was nesting behaviour, partly because they were both young birds not in breeding plumage, and partly because Cormorants don't nest anywhere near the park. Perhaps it was playing, as young predators of any species will.

Ahmet Amerikali sent an interesting picture taken in the same place. A Cormorant had caught two small perch at one.

Since perch have to be turned round to swallow head first, it was obliged to drop one before it could eat the other.

Tufted Ducks are very quiet. Under the incessant chorus of shrieks from the Rose-Ringed Parakeets, you can just hear an occasional faint high-pitched quack.

Later it started to rain properly. I have a warm flat to go home to. Carrion Crows are not so lucky.

The first daffodils have come out, a bright spot on a dark day.


  1. But what a great photograph of the rainy crow.

    1. It can't be much fun being so small with raindrops falling on you, each one what would be the size of a golf ball to us.

  2. Hello,

    I very much enjoy reading about what you see around the park. I was going to be in London for a few days this coming weekend and was hoping to see Jay. I read that you see them quite frequently and they they come for peanuts. Is there a particular spot in the park where they are consistently found? Also, where is the parade ground- I was looking at the map and don't see it.

    Best, Alan

    1. I see Jays more than most people because I feed them, so they come out when I approach. But I would advise walking around the Long Water, keeping an eye out on both sides of the path.

      The Parade Ground is a large square open area at the northeast corner of the park, at present being returfed and therefore fenced off. The Redwings and Fieldfares are at the south end of this area, where there are a few smallish trees. My pictures of them are taken over the temporary fence here.

  3. I feel for the Robin and the Crow. They are superb models, but they do seem uncomfortable and cold. One must suffer for one's art, I guess.

    The Wagtail looks as if it is looking for someone?

    1. I've seen that male Wagtail with a female, so I suppose he was calling for his mate.

  4. Your blog is a daily joy