Saturday, 4 January 2020

Just one Little Owl was on view today, the male in the lime tree near the Henry Moore sculpture.

There was plenty of activity in the bushes near the bridge, with a male Chaffinch coming out in the flowering cherry bush, though he still won't fly down to my hand.

Both Coal Tits kept coming to take pine nuts to store in cracks in bark.

This Robin in the bushes to the north of Peter Pan is getting more interested in being fed, though I still have to put its food on a convenient gatepost.

A Grey Heron was picking its way through the tangled plants on the little island in the Long Water. It wasn't clear what it was looking for, as one wouldn't expect rats here.

A Cormorant fished under the dead willow tree on the other side. It doesn't seem to have any trouble threading its way through the submerged branches.

A fine picture by David Element of a Black-Headed Gull startled by another gull trying to land on its post, but not giving way.

The three young Moorhens in the Italian Garden are firmly established in the planters in the fountain pools. Oddly their parents, who have been nesting here every year, are seldom seen at the moment.

Some more Red Crested Pochards have flown on to the Long Water. I saw two drakes and a female. They haven't joined up with the drake in the Italian Garden.

They mingled at the Vista with the Common Pochards ...

... and a few Shovellers.

There are few places where the Mute Swans on the lake can nest, so they sometimes start building in wildly unsuitable places. This is a public path near the Lido. The attempt will almost certainly be quickly abandoned.

In case anyone should think 'Well, why not make more nesting places for them?' the population of swans in the park is rising steadily and it's now definitely overcrowded.

The Black Swan on the Round Pond barged its way confidently through the other swans to get to someone who was feeding them.

In contrast, the young Black Swan in St James's Park is not having much fun. Its parents have thrown it out, and the other swans, black and white, bully it. Joan Chatterley got the first picture of it flying successfully, but it was only doing this because another was chasing it.


  1. Well, silver lining: it must have been due to force majeure, but at least it already knows how to fly.

    If it weren't because cygnets wouldn't have a prayer of surviving, it'd be interesting to see a swan nest built in the middle of a footpath, knowing that they give way to nobody and nothing.

    1. The danger to a swan nest on the ground isn't from people, it's from foxes and dogs. Before the little nesting island was built in the Long Water the dominant male swan lost his previous mate and his cygnets to a fox attack.

  2. Great shot of the Little Owl & some fine duck portraits. The scene of the crush of swans reminds me of feeding time at Welney.

    1. It's always feeding time on the Round Pond, unfortunately usually with white bread despite notices all round the shore.