Tuesday 10 December 2019

A dark grey day of wind and drizzle turning to rain. Mute Swans, Tufted Ducks, Black-Headed Gulls, Feral Pigeons and a Moorhen put up with it. They have seen worse.

Between showers, some swans and Tufted drakes formed a little flotilla at the edge of the Serpentine.

A Moorhen preened on the trunk of a dead birch tree that had fallen into the water from the island.

A Coot skittered over the Serpentine, holding a thick strand of algae and chased by a Black-Headed Gull that was trying to snatch it. It detached a hoverfly larva from the algae and ate it while the gull stood by resentfully.

A Common Gull did the worm dance in the Diana fountain enclosure, which all the gulls know to be the best place for worms in the park. The original clay soil here has been replaced with good topsoil and high quality sports turf has been laid on it, making it a worms' paradise until they stick their heads out and get eaten.

A Carrion Crow probed a crack in the concrete for edible creatures.

This crow has a ring, which is most unusual for crows in the park. The ring looks new, and maybe Bill Haines put it on since he has been ringing other birds than the Coots and Moorhens in his tracking project. The crow flew off before I could see the whole number, but part of it is -1003- on a standard BTO ring.

A Jackdaw waited to be fed among a mass of old peanut shells which shows that this is a usual feeding place.

A Magpie struck a dramatic pose on a tree trunk.

A Jay was a bit bedraggled in the rain.

A Goldcrest came out of the bushes near the bridge and stayed on a holly twig just long enough for a photograph.

There were curious looks from a Chaffinch on the railings ...

... and a Wren on a twig.

A Robin came down several times to take pine nuts from my hand.

The first snowdrops are out at the east end of the Serpentine.

A pretty orange-brown fungus on a felled trunk at the bottom of Buck Hill. Mario tells me that it's Velvet Shank (Flammulina velutipes).


  1. The fungus looks more like Velvet Shank (Flammulina velutipes) which is a stump-rotting fungus, and also occurs on standing dead wood

  2. The Swans are the dreadnoughts to the Tufties' frigates.

    Good luck trying to separate a Coot from its food, I guess.

    1. Even the small Black-Headed Gulls are adept at making larger birds drop things.