Wednesday 11 December 2019

A sunny morning brought the male Little Owl near the Albert Memorial to the front of the pair's hole.

The sunlight flattered the fine plumage of the Red-Crested Pochard in the Italian Garden ...

... and a Shoveller drake at the Vista ...

... and shone through the wings of a Cormorant.

A Wood Pigeon eating the last few berries on a tree stretched farther and farther until inevitably it lost its balance and fell out.

A Jay followed me from the bridge to the Vista, taking one peanut after another.

The weeping willow tree near the bridge has collapsed lower and lower over the years but is still alive. Its branches provide a haven for all kinds of water birds, large and small.

Later it clouded over and started raining. A Tufted Duck didn't care.

A Carrion Crow bathed in the Serpentine ...

... and another found a packet of roasted nuts somewhere, ripped it to pieces, and devoured the contents.

One of the Grey Heron nests on the island was occupied, but the birds don't seem to be nesting in earnest yet.

A Blue Tit at the bridge got very impatient when I tried to photograph it instead of feeding it at once.

A Long-Tailed Tit snagged its tail on a twig, a rare event for these agile birds as you can tell by the fine condition of the feathers. Birds that habitually make contact with trees, such as Nuthatches and Treecreepers, have very worn tail feathers.

A small aeroplane circled several times over the park.

Aircraft have no secrets from the web, so I can tell you that G-AZOL is a Piper Seneca, a venerable machine built in 1971 (more senex than Seneca) operated by Select Air Charter and presumably carrying sightseers. While most of it is 48 years old the right propeller is only 10, the original having been demolished when someone started the engine with the brakes off and taxied into a van. You can see a photograph of its very traditional cockpit here.


  1. Some lovely colours on the water birds- something you're unlikely to replicate tomorrow, when the forecast looks pretty grim!

    1. Or yesterday, when I was getting liberally drenched.

    2. Sorry to hear about that. It seems very unfair to me that much of our joy with your blog is purchased at the price of a lot of discomfort for you.

      I will always love old-fashioned airplanes. Modern crafts are splendid, to be sure, and sometimes they look like they have more to do with magic than they do with technology, but the stately, brave air of a classic airplane is something they will never be able to replicate.

      Quite a dramatic shot of the sun filtering through the Cormorant's wings.

      I never thought that I'd see a clumsy bird, but here we are. Full marks for clumsiness for that pigeon.

      There is something so hopeful and cheering in the thought of the old willow tree. Down but not out, and able to shelter and protect life even when in such condition..

    3. Wood pigeons are over-optimistic about their ability to perch on thin twigs. But their antics do get them berries.

  2. Didn't realise or remember that Woodpigeons ate snowberries despite growing up with a garden with both species, then again it wouldn't make much sense if they didn't. Jim

    1. Perhaps they eat all the other berries first. There are not nearly enough berry trees in the park, and the fruit is finished in weeks. I've been encouraging the managers to plant more suitable trees.