Friday 15 November 2019

A pair of Black-Headed Gulls strutted around together and moaned at each other in their courtship ritual.

Another played with a bit of foil.

The odd couple of a Herring Gull and a Lesser Black-Back were still at the Dell restuarant with their teenager. They are just far enough away from the aggressively territorial pigeon-eater to avoid being attacked.

The teenager played with a champagne cork.

One of the Gadwall drakes in the Italian Garden was deluged with water while feeding under the fountain. Evidently the turbulence brings up small edible creatures from the bottom.

The trio of Red-Crested Pochard and Mallards were back in another of the fountain pools, hoping to be fed.

The odd-looking Common Pochard drake on the Round Pond was out of the water, showing an almost complete absence of the usual black feathers on his front.

The Black Swan has brown eyes rather than the adult bright red, showing that it's a young bird in its first suit of black feathers. This proves that it isn't from St James's Park, where all the Black Swans are full adults except for this year's teenage cygnet.

A male Mute Swan flirted with a teenager on the Serpentine.

A Great Crested Grebe at the island, now in winter plumage, caught a large perch.

A Magpie pulled bark off a plane tree ...

... and then went through it on the ground, finding a spider's nest.

David Element got fine pictures of a Bittern at the Barnes Wetland Centre ...

... and a Weasel which had caught an unlucky Field Vole at Rainham Marshes.

Mark Williams is cultivating the friendship of this Blackbird by feeding it sultanas. Bribery gets you a long way.


  1. Blackbirds seem entirely too corruptible.

    I wonder if the Magpie knew that there was a spider nest underneath that strip of bark, or whether it was blind luck. If it knew, how could it come by such knowledge?

    Speaking of black swans, does anyone have an explanation for this picture? It looks as if it is trying to swallow a fish, Grebe-like:

    1. There were bits of bark all over the ground under that tree, so I think the Magpie was searching at random till it was lucky.

      Swans eat snails, so why not fish?

  2. The Bowes Museum in northern England houses a clockwork silver swan that 'eats' a fish. See here. Though clearly that Black Swan is ambitious. Jim

    1. Remarkable. I like the way it looks around the audience before performing.

  3. Disconcerting. A bit like Tipu's Tiger in the V&A. (my husband knew it when it was still fully functioning and growling, whilst eating the East India Company man)