Wednesday 16 October 2019

A Goldcrest darted around in a yew tree in the leaf yard. They're hard to photograph and harder to film, but this one was being unusually cooperative.

A Carrion Crow perched on a notice beside the Serpentine looking aggrieved, perhaps because it wasn't shown among the pictures of birds ...

... but its mood improved when it was given a peanut.

Ahmet Amerikali got a good picture of a Chiffchaff near the bridge ...

... and a passing Long-Tailed Tit.

He also saw the pair of Hyacinth Macaws being taken for their daily expedition in the park, with a matching human to carry them.

A Grey Heron stood on the bridge holding a twig and making mild affectionate squawks to its mate on a post below. They start nesting in winter, but this is much too early.

A young Great Crested Grebe searched for fish in the wire baskets under the bridge.

Fishermen beside the Serpentine had a moment of excitement when their fish alarm went off, but it was only a wandering Moorhen.

A pair of Mallards mated on the Long Water. The female shook off the memory of this unenjoyable experience, but still went off to rejoin her mate.

This very tatty Canada Goose has been on the lake for some time. It eats and walks normally, and can just fly in spite of the ragged condition of its wings. No one knows how it got into this state. Jenna has asked Hugh the Wildlife Officer whether it should be taken to the swan sanctuary.

This is the young Mute Swan that has recently flown on to the lake. It spends its time alone, but it must have come with some other swans or it would not have known the way.

Mark Williams sent this picture of the young Black Swan in St James's Park, now getting darker by the day.

Tom was at Rainham Marshes, where he got a fine picture of a Water Rail.

Honey Fungus on a dead tree beside the Long Water. The park's policy of not removing the trunks of the trees they fell is helping the spread of this destructive fungus. But it is quite pretty.


  1. Yep, it does look to be smarting that it wasn't included in the picture. It is almost human-like in its expression. No doubt though the peanut helped it get over its disappointment.

    Congratulations on the Goldcrest video! It is not easy to see good and extensive footage of those nervous little birds.

    The Macaws picture is absolutely splendid!

    1. I've seen those Hyacinth Macaws several times in the care of an older couple carrying one each. Probably this man is their son. Ahmet said that he didn't want to be photographed and hurried away, hence the rear view. The old couple were happy to show off their beautiful birds. But I can't imagine what it would be like living with a pair of these sensitive, naughty, destructive and powerful creatures.

  2. Dead tree trunks do provide a useful source of food for insects. I appreciate the problem with honey fungus, but leaving trunks to rot maybe a good thing.

    1. The standard reply of the park management about leaving dead wood lying around is that it's 'for the benefit of the invertebrates'. Well, there's plenty of habitat for invertebrates already. What they mean is 'We won't pay to have them taken away.'

  3. Unenjoyable? She clearly invites it, though I've never understood the thing about washing afterwards, do their heads and backs hurt from the contact once the passion subsides? Jim

    1. No, I would stand by my choice of 'unenjoyable'. The female is coerced into submission by the foreging head-bobbing display, not showm in this video because I didn't get to it in time. What follows is like driving a right-handed bolt into a left-handed nut with a hammer, during which the female is grasped by the back of the head with sufficient force to tear out feathers. Her behaviour afterwards is revealing.

      There are birds whose mating is consensual and obviously enjoyed by both, such as Great Crested Grebes. But not ducks.