Monday, 20 January 2020

There were two Grey Herons at the nest on the south side of the island ...

... and later one of them was picking twigs to build it up. I'm pretty sure that some eggs have already been laid.

A video of one preening in the nest.

Both the Little Owls near the Henry Moore sculpture were visible at different times. In the grey morning the male was sheltering low in the hole.

When the sun came out I went back and found the female being harassed by a Jay.

The male Little Owl near the Albert Memorial was 50 yards down the hill from his usual tree, in another oak.

The flower beds in the Rose Garden were full of squirrels digging up the bulbs and Wood Pigeons eating the flowers, but a Carrion Crow was doing useful work getting rid of insects.

Two Pied Wagtails ran around in the Diana fountain enclosure.

A Robin perched on a red dogwood stem at the Lido restaurant.

Mark Williams took this pleasing picture of one of his favourite Robins singing in St James's Park.

Black-Headed Gulls lined up on the plastic buoys surrounding the Lido swimming area, a place for them to hang out peacefully. Even gulls need a rest from their constant bickering.

A Black-Headed Gull found a piece of an orange, and surprisingly seemed to like it -- gulls are not usually fond of fruit. It fended off a Coot and several other gulls before eating it with enjoyment.

A pair of Gadwalls cropped the algae growing at the edge of the Serpentine. This unpromising-looking stuff is highly nutritious. It's the main food of Mute Swans and they grow huge on it.

The Great Crested Grebes from the east end of the island are looking very different. The female changes into pale winter plumage early and stays in it late. The male hardly changes at all and is now back in his full breeding finery.

What the well dressed cyclist is wearing.


  1. Are they Hasidim? I've never seen them on a bike.

    Perhaps that orange is especially sugary. Don't gulls have a very sweet tooth?

    Just one more argument for the superiority of bird intelligence: they discovered what they say is going to be the food of the future, algae, a good million years before we did.

  2. Several kinds of Orthodox Jews visit the park, and I don't know which is which. I once helped another who was on a hire bicycle and whose prayer shawl had got caught in the chain -- he had managed to stop before suffering the fate of Isadora Duncan but was well and truly entangled.

    I hope civilisation lasts long enough for me to avoid having to eat algae.

    1. Dunno. Swans and astronauts seem to thrive on the stuff. Well, you could always go the route of cosmonauts, who eat borsch rather than algae, but I'm not sure if that's an improvement.

    2. The thought of the lake infested with borsch is rather unsettling.