Sunday, 12 January 2020

A Carrion Crow at the Dell restaurant was strangely uncertain about whether to eat some leftover ice cream -- something that gulls eat greedily. After shooing away another crow, it decided it didn't want any and flew off.

Then it went down to the edge of the water to eat a bit of pizza crust, a familiar and safe choice.

There wasn't much heron activity on the island, though I was told that a pair had been displaying earlier. There was one in a willow on the other side of the lake, a place where they like to perch. Like many of the Grey Herons in the park it has a have scaly, messy-looking bill.

This heron at the island was doing something about that, polishing its bill first with a foot and then by rubbing it against a tree.

The number of Cormorants in the park is falling, a sign that they have eaten almost all the fish large enough to interest them. This happens every year in late winter, and they don't return for several months, until the newly hatched fish have grown to an interesting size.

A young Herring Gull played with a dead leaf it found in the water till the wind took it away.

Common Gulls' soft dark eyes give them a misleadingly kind look. Of course they are just as ravenous and ruthless as any other gull.

A Moorhen at the bridge had to get quite tough with a gull before it could knock it off its post.

Moorhens often feed on the edge of the bowl of the marble fountain in the Italian Garden, where the constantly flowing water seems to produce something extra delicious.

A young Mute Swan was wandering along the bank of the Long Water behind the fence, looking miserable. It had been chased up there by the dominant pair, which were patrolling the water below. This may be their own offspring from last year, finally thrown out before the parents start nesting again. It can get back to the water as soon as they lose concentration, but would do well to flee under the bridge to the Serpentine.

Another of last year's families: young Greylags followed their parents ashore. The young geese still have orange-brown feet.

A female Chaffinch foraged in the leaf litter in the shrubbery near the bridge.

A Wren in the Rose Garden perched on a climbing rose bush.


  1. Geese are so civilised compared with swans. Well, compared with almost anyone.

    Perhaps that Crow is sensibly afraid of novel food? I think it was in The Mind of the Raven that I first learned that older Ravens are neophobic.

    1. Yes, I was thinking of Mind of the Raven too. But in the case of the ravens there is the real problem that your dinner might still be alive and try to eat you.