Friday 22 November 2019

An autumn view across the Long Water, taken from the Queen's Temple where I was sheltering during a heavy shower.

The Grey Heron at the Dell restaurant is working its way up to becoming a table raider. It had better watch its step. The previous heron, which would jump on to occupied tables and grab food off people's plates, disappeared in unexplained circumstances.

The female Peregrine was back on the barracks tower.

A Cormorant caught a small perch under the marble fountain of the Italian Garden. Thanks to Ahmet Amerikali for this close-up shot.

Black-Headed Gulls perched on the ornaments. One of them, on the hand of a stone nymph, looked carefully around the area for something to grab.

A Common Gull took the topmost perch on the fallen poplar in the Long Water.

A Wood Pigeon ...

... and a Long-Tailed Tit perched on twigs near the bridge.

This pleasing portrait of a Blue Tit on a mimosa leaf is by Mark Williams.

The teenage Mute Swan on the Long Water is still hanging around with its parents, and will be allowed to stay with them till the next nesting season. Here it is with its father touting for food a Peter Pan.

A Coot perched on the trunk of a fallen birch tree, one of many birches that have died and collapsed on the island.

Work on the island continues briskly. Here the workmen are bringing in readymade mats of reeds to plant around the restored pond. This will be fenced off to stop nesting swans from wrecking it, but the reeds will still be exposed to destructive Coots and we shall have to see if they survive.

Hugh Smith the Wildlife Officer saw a Water Rail on the island this morning, but I don't have a picture.

A Gadwall on the Serpentine scratched her ear.

A tremendous clatter announced the arrival of a new air ambulance on Buck Hill. This wasn't the usual London MD902 air ambulance, but a much larger AgustaWestland AW169 from the Essex and Herts service. The pilot, unfamiliar with this tree-lined space, took off rather tentatively compared to the pilot of the London service, who has landed and taken off thousands of times here and flings his machine into the sky.

Tom was at Rainham Marshes again, and sent a fine picture of a Short-Eared Owl in totally silent flight.


  1. No wonder the pilot was feeling diffident. It must be quite dangerous for a larger helicpoter to take off from such a closed place.

    Now I am worried for that Heron. Do you suspect foul play with the previous one?

    The weather looks quite miserable. I know I'd perish wiht the cold and damp.

  2. The pilot of the usual smaller helicopter displays amazing skill and precision, and will land in a moderately wide street. Here he is just up the road from here in Kensington High Street.

    It may be an unworthy suspicion, but I think that heron met a sticky end.

    1. PS That YouTube video has a follow-on -- see right column of page -- showing the takeoff, even trickier. The helicopter is an MD 902 with a ducted fan instead of a tail rotor, giving very precise control.

    2. The nerves of steel on that pilot. Amazing control.