Monday 16 December 2019

The little fountain pools in the Italian Garden harbour a surprising variety of birds.

A young Mute Swan looking a bit puzzled as it's his first time in the pools.
An adult swan looking at the 18 inch kerb it has to climb to get out -- they can just manage it.
The oldest inhabitants, the incompetent Egyptian Geese that have been here for 20 years.
A young Moorhen in one of the planters.
There are always several Coots here.
The familiar Red-Crested Pochard drake ...
... with his Mallard mate.
A pair of Gadwalls eating algae.
Tufted Ducks annoyed by Black-Headed Gulls.
A Mallard having a wash and a good flap.

The important thing for a gull is to swallow its food quickly before another gull swoops down and tries to grab it, but this Black-Headed Gull was having difficulty with piece of bread that it couldn't quite get down.

My old friend EY09813 ate one and a half digestive biscuits at a single session today. I just don't know where the bird puts them.

Both the Peregrines were on the barracks tower, though the female was standing well back and you could only see the top of her head. Quite likely the Peregrines are here more often than we think, invisible at the back of the ledge.

A Grey Heron watched the traffic go by on the dangerous corner at the bridge. Last year a driver lost control and crashed through the railings at exactly this spot, finishing against a stone gatepost.

Rose-Ringed Parakeets added a touch of green to a bare tree on the other side of the road.

There were three herons on the island taking an interest in two nests, but still no serious nesting action.

A Coot at the island was actually making a nest, though probably it just wanted a more comfortable place to sit than the wire grid of the basket.

The reed beds around the Serpentine have a lot of Wrens in them.

One of the Coal Tits near the bridge posed obligingly in a winter flowering cherry tree.

The usual Robin came out to be fed.

Two fine pictures by Ahmet Amerikali: a Goldcrest near the bridge ...

... and a Cormorant surfacing with a fish, both draped in weed.


  1. Brilliant picture of the wren - who would have thought the wings would be so big?

  2. The Italian Garden is indeed a surprisingly diverse area. I've gotten quite close to the juvenile Moorhen, he/she eats seeds out of my hand whenever I come close. It'll be interesting if it grows up to be a quite a tame one.

    1. There are three young Moorhens here, all siblings. Agile Moorhens are still able to nest here, although the new metal fences around the planters seem to exclude Coots.

  3. I don't want it to snow because that'd mean it'd be beastly cold in your tour of the park, but the only way the Coal Tit picture could get any lovelier is if there was some snow on the branches (although there would be no flowers then, I imagine).

    That Heron is surely wiser and better at calculating distances and speeds than the average car driver, I'm sure.

    I too wonder where do Gulls keep everything they eat. They must be all stomach, as the Muses said of Hesiod (and to Hesiod!).

    1. Snow in London is usually a brief affair, which is just as well for the little birds as prolonged snowy weather kills most of them. But whatever happens I will be out photographing it as long as I can.