Thursday 31 December 2020

A frosty morning. A Common Gull trotted over frozen ground, too hard to allow it to dig for worms. It had migrated south to get away from things like this.

A mob of gulls flying past the island, almost all Black-Headed but can you spot two Common Gulls and two Herring Gulls?

A Lesser Black-Backed Gull plunged vertically into the lake ...

... submerging with its wings partly extended. I think they use their wings to steer under water, but don't think they can actually fly in water like Gannets.

The female Peregrine was on the tower in the morning. No sign of her mate.

A pair of Great Crested Grebes cruised up the Long Water.

I went to the Round Pond to check on the Black Swan. She seems to have calmed down after her recent troubles, and was swimming around placidly.

Mute Swans toiled to gain height to cross the bridge above the passing traffic. It would be much easier to fly under the arches, but they find that frightening.

Glad to say that the Goldeneye is still on the Serpentine, though I missed seeing it yesterday.

The Grey Heron in the Dell likes to stand on the weeping beech tree, but that exposes it to Carrion Crows, which hate herons and enjoy teasing them.

A Nuthatch called from a tree near Queen's Gate.

A compilation of Robins singing in different parts of the park.

A male Chaffinch ...

... and a male Great Tit came out to be fed in the shrubbery near the bridge.

I've been collecting short clips of people exercising in strange ways, and the third agonising procedure which I saw this morning made up a set.

Wednesday 30 December 2020

A Nuthatch strolled down an oak tree in the leaf yard, perfectly matching the bark.

A Wren nattered beside the Long Water.

A female Chaffinch from the family near the bridge.

A Pied Wagtail hunted along the deserted terrace of the Dell restaurant.

A sudden panic sent Feral Pigeons into a swirl.

A Carrion Crow played with an empty plastic cup for quite a while, enjoying the noises it made when it was pecked.

Another enjoyed a dogfight with a Black-Headed Gull.

A Black-Headed Gull made a harsh remark to a Common Gull on the solar panel at the Round Pond.

Most of the Grey Herons' nests are on the north side of the island, and hard to see against the light. This one is on the sunny side but has to be viewed from across the lake.

It ignored the baskets installed in the trees to help it, and preferred its own construction.

A Great Crested Grebe cruised through reflections of a reed bed.

Coot were fighting as usual on the Long Water.

A Tufted Duck flew up the Serpentine.

Yesterday afternoon Hugh rescued the Black Swan from the reed bed where she was stuck. Later she flew up to the Round Pond and relieved her feelings by bullying the other swans.

There was no sign of the Goldeneye, or of the Kingfisher, but as usual the fox was curled up in the hollow tree across the water from Peter Pan.

One of my favourite winged creatures, the lion on the Baglioni hotel at Palace Gate.

Tuesday 29 December 2020

A difficult day for pictures. I couldn't find the Kingfisher, and nor could anyone else I spoke to. The Goldeneye appeared briefly in the morning ...

... but when I went back later he had disappeared too. And the female Peregrine kept going to the back of the ledge, out of sight. I think she had a pigeon there and was going back to eat a bit more.

There are still some Cormorants on the Long Water, but they are only catching fish occasionally. In the autumn almost every dive into the old water filter below the Italian Garden would have yielded a fish, but this Cormorant took a quarter of an hour to get one.

Tufted Ducks and a Common Pochard dived next to each other in the shallow water in front of Peter Pan.

There were Grey Herons in two nests on the island -- this is the second one from the top. Although six nests have been occupied at times, I don't think that means that there are six pairs of birds. Some of them are shifting around looking for the best spot to claim. In previous years there has been a long period of shilly-shallying before they get down to breeding.

A young Herring Gull dived into the lake in a place where the water was several feet deep and came up with a small crayfish claw, presumably discarded by some other bird. It was too small to be worth eating, but the gull played with it for a while. Their ability to spot submerged objects from the air is remarkable.

A Carrion Crow bathed in the Serpentine.

Someone had given this crow a macadamia nut, a luxurious treat which it savoured carefully.

A Jay had to be content with a common peanut.

Magpies jostled for position at a small ants' nest where there was only one good place to find ants.

The usual Blue Tit near the Italian Garden followed me along the path, getting three pine nuts on the way.

Coal Tits often sing in winter, and several could be heard in spite of the cold weather. This one was in a yew tree near the Henry Moore sculpture.

A Goldcrest appeared in the yew in the leaf yard.

The usual fox was resting in the hollow tree trunk opposite Peter Pan.

Monday 28 December 2020

The Goldeneye on the Serpentine, who is usually seen diving incessantly, took a break to rest and stretch his legs.

Joan Chatterley got a good picture of him standing up to stretch his wings.

The Red-Crested Pochard on the Long Water fluffed up his crest to the maximum.

Common Pochards are gradually returning from wherever they suddenly went a couple of months ago.

One could be seen under the willow near the bridge ...

... where a Coot spotted a Black-Headed Gull with a bit of bread and chased it.

The fallen poplar at the Vista is a gathering place for Black-Headed Gulls.

A courting pair held their wings out and bowed and moaned affectionately to each other.

A sixth Grey Heron nest has been occupied. It's on the south side of the island, but the only picture I could get was from the north side, an indistinct view through the branches.

The Black Swan is still stuck in the reed bed, but there are algae and reeds for her to eat, and I'm sure Hugh will come and get her out soon.

The Kingfisher was going round the Long Water. I saw it on the west side, but later it was seen catching a fish and carrying it to somewhere near the fallen poplar, where it disappeared into a bush.

The usual Blue Tit near the Italian Garden looked out expectantly from a bramble stem.

This is one of the pair of Coal Tits in the leaf yard.

There's always time for a solitary dance in the Buck Hill shelter.