Saturday, 11 January 2020

On a dull grey day at least there were two Pied Wagtails running about. It's not surprising that they can find insects in the litter at the edge of the Serpentine, but somehow they also manage to do it on the bare tarmac surrounding the Round Pond.

A few Redwings were chattering in trees near the bridge.

There will be a lot more in a fortnight, when the last remains of the Winter Wasteland have finally been hauled away and they fly in to hunt for worms in the muddy ruins.

A male Chaffinch looked out of the shrubbery.

A Jay waited for a peanut to be offered.

The female Peregrine was looking down from the tower. Almost as soon as I raised the camera she flew off, and there was just time for one picture.

A Grey Heron perched on a thin twig in a treetop on the island, adopting a streamlined pose because there was a gusty wind and it didn't want to be buffeted about.

There is always a mass of Coots under the fallen poplar tree in the Long Water. They seem to agree on places to assemble without fighting, and only attack each other in open water. A Great Crested Grebe cruised indifferently by.

The Coot building a nest at Peter Pan tried to add a plastic box to it.

Unusually, this pair don't seem to be much good at nesting. There should be plenty of available twigs at the edge of the lake for them to add to the nest, but the only twigs to be seen are some that I gave them myself.

There is also a flock of migrant Pochards on the Long Water. Today several of them ventured under the bridge on to the Serpentine ...

... where they were completely ignored by the resident female near the bridge, who continued to poke around the edge in her usual place.

A young Mute Swan on the Serpentine enjoyed a vigorous wash and flap. These huge birds have as many as 20,000 feathers and they take a lot of looking after.

The Black Swan on the Round Pond eyed me hopefully before spotting someone feeding the birds a bit farther along the shore and cruising briskly off.

The hopeless pair of Egyptian Geese perched on the urns in the Italian Garden. They're at least 20 and may be too old to breed, but that doesn't stop them from making a noise.

One of my favourite winged creatures, a stucco lion on the ornate 1880s building at Palace Gate which is currently the achingly smart Baglioini Hotel.


  1. I imagine it is also achingly and eye-watering expensive. But the beauty of the place is sure to be worth it.

    Dunno. Those hopeless Egyptians may be no good at being geese, but at least they make exceedingly great ornaments.

    Imagine having to shed 20,000 feathers. Whew.

    1. The Baglioni Hotel is so agonizingly cool that it has black Christmas decorations. I would be afraid to cross its polished threshold.