Saturday 23 November 2019

A female Blackbird in the Rose Garden called irritably, not a full alarm call but a sign that all was not quite right in her world. It wasn't me bothering her, as this was filmed from quite a distance.

Her mate was on the wet grass looking for worms.

A Pied Wagtail ran around on the edge of the Serpentine. The bare pavement is a better hunting ground than it looks, because the numerous bird droppings attract insects.

There seem to be at least three Coal Tits in the shrubbery near the bridge, not surprising as they nested there earlier this year. Two will now come to my hand, but the other or others stay in the bushes and have to be fed on the ground.

There's no difficulty with the Great Tits.

Two Long-Tailed Tits flitted expertly through twigs at the base of a lime tree. Their very long tails don't seem to hamper them in the slightest.

A Magpie posed grandly on an urn in the Italian Garden. One of the few advantages of this dark, dank and dismal time of year is that you can usually find a pretty background of autumn leaves.

Another Magpie was annoying the pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull, trying to grab a bit of his lunch.

Work on the island has stopped for the weekend, and the birds are creeping back. A Grey Heron realised that the space between the pontoon and the shore was a good place to lurk and wait for a fish to poke its head out from shelter.

A Cormorant was fishing in the Italian Garden, staying close to the familiar trio of the Red-Crested Pochard and two Mallards. They may have provided some kind of cover for it, but a hunting Cormorant must be conspicuous under water. You sometimes see Great Crested Grebes fishing in the middle of flocks of geese, whose harmless paddling feet don't frighten the fish and lull them into false security.

Anyway, it caught a perch along with a beakful of algae that had to be discarded.

Great Crested Grebes are very variable in the way they change their plumage. Most of the grebes on the lake are now in their plain winter feathers, but this one has still got its full summer finery.

There was an outbreak of fashion on the shore of the Serpentine, with circling Black-Headed Gulls as elegant accessories.

I don't quite know what was happening in the Rose Garden, but I'm sure it was very artistic.


  1. Margot Fonteyn must be turning on her grave.

    An outbreak of fashion, just like an outbreak of flu. I laughed. I wish we had a catwalk with Grebes shoowing the different states of their finery.

    1. Even Martha Graham must be revolving gently.

      But I don't think grebes would be very good on the catwalk. Walking is not really their thing. You'd have to have a water channel in the middle of the aisle.