Thursday, 23 January 2020

The Redwings were again feeding near the south edge of the Serpentine, but were frightened into a tree when someone blundered past with a dog.

The Robin at the Lido perched in a dogwood bush.

This shy bird is gradually getting tamer, and can be tempted out by throwing a few seeds on the ground. It's also getting used to the camera.

The same applies to the Chaffinches at the bridge. This is the female of the pair lurking under a bush.

A pair of Rose-Ringed Parakeets stood guard over a hole in a plane tree that they have stolen from the Starlings which used to nest here.

The female Little Owl near the Henry Moore sculpture was out on a branch having a scratch.

I heard the Little Owls at the Albert Memorial calling to each other, but all I saw was one of them vanishing into a hole in the oak tree halfway down the hill to Queen's Gate, where I photographed the male a few days ago.

There are never many Lesser Black-Backed Gulls on the Serpentine, where they are vastly outnumbered by Herring Gulls which breed locally. Today four new ones had arrived and were perched on the posts next to the bridge.

A young Herring Gull precariously balancing on a small plastic buoy reached down carefully to have a drink.

This Common Gull has unusual bright mustard-coloured legs. Their legs can be any colour from off-white through yellow and green to dark grey.

A Coot stood under a fountain in the Italian Garden, deliberately getting soaked. Perhaps this a good way to rinse out parasites.

A Carrion Crow bathed at the top of the waterfall in the Dell. They like to have short splashes alternating with shaking themselves dry, which they seem to find effective in washing out the bugs.

Often this place is occupied by a pair of Mallards.

It was inspection time for the angels on the Albert Memorial.

Another curious stucco lion, on a house at the corner of Queen's Gate Terrace and Gloucester Road. Green Men, nature spirits spouting foliage, are a traditional decoration for buildings and are often found on Queen Anne Revival houses of the 1890s, but this is the only Green Lion I have ever seen.

The building dates from the early 1860s, when this area was being built up for the first time. Formerly this spot was the crossing of Hell Lane and Hogmire Lane, but the new development called for grander names.


  1. Hell Lane and Hogmire Lane are superb names. Is there a historical reason for them?

    Pretty Robin! We'll see it coming to your hand in no time.

    1. Hell Lane led from Kensington village, around the site of the surviving Kensington Square, to Hell House, which was roughly where the Lycée Charles de Gaulle is now. Only the northwestern alignment of the street survives, now euphemistically named Victoria Grove. The remainder was obliterated by the housing development of the 1860s. I have no idea why Hell House was so called. The district was originally one of market gardens growing vegetables on 'night soil' (human manure from cesspits) for London and Westminster -- a fitting place for hogs to wallow in the mire.