Sunday, 19 January 2020

There was a frost in the night. A Carrion Crow pecked at a frozen puddle.

A Robin fluffed itself up against the cold till it was almost spherical.

The smallest birds suffer most from frosty weather. I managed to get the very shy Coal Tit in the leaf yard to take a pine nut off the railings.

There was also a Goldcrest in the yew tree.

A sign of hope for these tiny insect-eating birds: the first midges of the year were out beside the Long Water. I got a distant view of a Peacock butterfly, again the first I've seen this year.

Neil was feeding Coal Tits, a Great Tit and a small flock of Starlings. Feeding Starlings from your hand can be a painful business, as they have sharp beaks and peck hard. But he said that the ones he filmed here were less violent than usual.

The male Little Owl near the Henry Moore sculpture looked down from a branch.

A Stock Dove perched in a treetop on Buck Hill.

A Grey Heron sat in a nest on the south side of the island. This picture was taken from across the lake. This may be the first sign of actual nesting by the herons. If it's in the same place tomorrow, that's definite.

A pair of Black-Headed Gulls strutted about together moaning affectionately and showing off by attacking Feral Pigeons.

A young Herring Gull flapped to keep its balance on a small plastic buoy, but soon slid off.

The young Moorhens in the Italian Garden are now completely adult in appearance, with bright red and yellow beaks.

The dominant male Mute Swan at the west end of the Serpentine cruised in to deal with a dog that its stupid owner had allowed into the water. The dog left hastily.

A pair of male Egyptian Geese fought on the Serpentine while their mates egged them on. Two Coots would have liked to join in but were outclassed.

Another pair had a noisy display on the sawn-off poplar at Peter Pan, a few feet above the heads of the visitors.

The fallen willow near the bridge often has a pair of Mallards resting and preening in the shelter of its branches.


  1. That's quite a violent fight. Vicious, evenn.

    Perhaps the Starlings were more careful about their pecking because they wanted to ensure that feeding would continue? They must have been very hungry. Poor things. You both are doing God's work.

    1. It seems to be a fight with rules. Tip the other bird over and you win.

      Starlings are quite intelligent and may well have learnt that dive-bombing humans is not the best way of getting as much food as possible.

  2. Lovely photo of a Goldcrest, I don't see them as much as I used too. I suspect I also don't hear them now unless they are pretty close.

    1. Luckily my old ears are still working quite well.