Wednesday 18 December 2019

A sunny spell in the morning brought the male Little Owl near the Albert Memorial out of his hole.

Whenever I pass this tree a pair of Great Tits arrive to be fed ...

... and some Jays perch hopefully in the trees.

A Carrion Crow on an urn at the Lido restaurant was also looking expectant.

The olive tree at the Lido belongs to a Robin who has been there for several years.

The Rose-Ringed Parakeets at the leaf yard, encouraged by people feeding them, have become unbearably bumptious. You can't walk past without being mobbed by them, and if you stop for a moment you are quickly covered in raucous green birds.

A young Great Crested Grebe, still slightly stripy, rested under the bridge.

A few days ago I put up a video of a Moorhen failing to dislodge a Black-Headed Gull from a post, and said it was unusual. Moorhens think they rule on the posts and chains on the lake, and almost always succeed in knocking off the small gulls. Here are two examples. One is a bit of a struggle, the other very easy and the gull flees before the Moorhen gets near.

The three young Moorhens in the Italian Garden spend most of their time climbing around one of the planters. No doubt the dead iris leaves harbour a lot of tasty insects.

A Mute Swan had hauled itself out of one of the fountain pools and was standing on the edge.

The Black Swan is still on the Round Pond, and has no reason to leave as he now rules it.

The thumbnail image for this video shows a peculiar brown Mallard seen on the Serpentine at the end of October. We didn't know whether it was male or female, and it had no trace of green on its head. Today I saw it again, being fed. It now has a fine green head and is definitely a drake. It had simply been in eclipse before, but its peculiar colouring made it hard to see what was going on.

Two Red-Crested Pochard drakes have arrived at the island.

Tom was at Rainham Marshes, where he got fine pictures of a Lapwing ...

... and one of the two Barn Owls.


  1. That is a really beautiful Mallard, with one of the finest green colours on it.

    How pretty, the Lapwing! They may be common, but they are still supremely beautiful birds.

    The Moorhen vs. Gull clip is extraordinarily funny. One must be sorry for the small Gull in the first scene, who must give way to the self-assured Moorhen, who clearly thinks itself the lord and master of poles and chains. For a second or two I thought we were going to witness a Mexican stand off, but alas, the gull chose the better part of discretion.

    1. A Moorhen can't expel a Common Gull, which is a little larger than a Black-Headed Gull, and is sensible enough not to try.