Saturday, 15 February 2020

The day started reasonably, and a Robin ...

... and a Great Tit came out as usual near the bridge to be fed.

But Storm Dennis was approaching, and soon the wind rose and it started raining harder and harder. That didn't stop the Redwings chattering cheerfully in the trees on the Parade Ground.

The Peregrines perched indifferently on the barracks tower.

But the Grey Herons came down from the swaying trees and stood on the shore of the island ...

... apart from the one sitting on eggs on the other side, which was hunkered down so that you could only see a trace of grey above the edge of the nest.

A pair of Mute Swans mated on the Round Pond.

However, they have nowhere they could possibly nest. Even on the main lake there are places for a maximum of three nests around the edge of the Serpentine island. The little swan island in the Long Water has now been allowed to disintegrate. Any nests on the shore will be attacked by foxes. This lack of provision is hard on the swans, but on the other hand the swan population has doubled in the past ten years and there is already serious overcrowding.

The dark Mallard brothers passed under the bridge in the rain ...

... and it was business as usual for a pair of Gadwalls on the Serpentine.

A Moorhen at the Dell restaurant suddenly flew up into the hawthorn tree, and it looks as if they are going to nest here again this year.

These nests have never succeeded because the lake is open here and there is little cover for the chicks, while hungry gulls are all around. But there is a patch of overhanging brambles not too far away, and they have a small chance.

The other Moorhen was eating algae in the pond at the top of the Dell waterfall.

When bad weather keeps people out of the Diana fountain it becomes a playground and bathing place for gulls of all species.

A young Herring Gull played with a conker on the edge of the Serpentine.

Although set in a scenic park and fitted with all-round plate glass windows, the Magazine restaurant has no view, just trees and a busy road. The management are trying to cheer up the bleak prospect with a giant screen, on this dark rainy day showing a sunlit redwood forest. From outside, the effect is rather strange.


  1. I like the chattering Redwings. How much longer do you think they’ll stay?

  2. The effect of the projections on the screen is quite disconcerting, although I imagine customers must like it.

    Could the swan island be rebuilt? Was it allowed to disintegrate out of negligence, or design?

    We had our first Swallow three days ago. I wish I could send some sunshine your way.

    1. Oh yes, the swan island could easily be rebuilt. But trying to get anything done in the park is like wading through glue. And there is a long sad history of building things and then just letting them fall apart.