Sunday, 26 January 2020

On another grey morning the sun almost came out for a few seconds just as I was photographing a Goldcrest in the leaf yard.

Both the sun and the Goldcrest quickly retreated. A Blackbird looked out from under a bush.

A single Long-Tailed Tit flitted about in an olive tree near the Lido restaurant, calling constantly to try to pick up the rest of the flock.

The hoarding around the Winter Wasteland has been removed, leaving a scene recalling Flanders in the First World War. Two Carrion Crows dug in the mud, and one of them found a small worm.

Starlings washing on the edge of the Serpentine were interrupted by the hybrid Bar-Headed Goose barging into their bathing place, but resumed as soon as it went.

Three Greylag Geese preened in a row on the edge of the Serpentine.

Blondie the Egyptian Goose was in her usual place, and passed the time by having a scratch.

A pair of Canada Geese are showing interest in nesting on the Mute Swans' island in the Long Water. The last time they did this, the swans threw them out and started nesting themselves. But there is always a successful Coot nest on the island, and the swans seem to tolerate it.

A pair of Coots have built a nest between two of the wire baskets surrounding the island.

More nesting activity on the island: there were two Grey Herons in the upper nest on the side facing the shore ...

... and also in the nest on the other side, though one of them flew away as I was photographing them.

A young Herring Gull played with a stone.

There are now just two Shovellers on the Long Water.

Their annual numbers have fallen steeply in the last ten years, from fifty or more to just a handful. Other minority ducks have also declined: no Pintails or Garganeys have been seen here for years, and only an occasional Wigeon, Teal, Goldeneye or Scaup. One reason for this may be the greater attraction of recently opened nature reserves along the Thames, such as the Wetland Centre at Barnes.


  1. Well, if the minority ducks found a better or more congenial place to stay, then our loss is their gain. Have you been participating in the Big Garden Bird Watch, by the way?

    I never fail to be amazed by the size of a Gull's maw. I shudder to think all that may fit in there.

    The Goldcrest looks like a tiny ray of sun itself. So cheery and bright.

    1. No, I haven't been doing the garden birdwatch. The park is not my garden, and is an altogether more serious affair. Even my walk around the lakes and the Round Pond produces close to 2000 birds in winter, about half of these Black-Headed Gulls.

      A Herring Gull can pick up a tennis ball.