Thursday, 6 February 2020

The impressive Coot nest built up from the bottom of the lake in 2ft 6in of water is an annual feature below the balcony of the Dell restaurant. A severe storm is forecast in a few days, and it's quite likely that the indefatigable Coots will have to build it again.

Tufted Ducks dodged around and below Mute Swans at the Peter Pan waterfront.

A Great Crested Grebe preened on the Serpentine.

These two Lesser Black-Backed Gulls have been on the tern raft in the Long Water for several days, looking as if they were planning to nest on it. The raft has been covered with plastic netting that would prevent terns from using it, but doesn't prevent a wide variety of other birds from visiting.

The male Little Owl near the Henry Moore sculpture was out on a branch enjoying the sunshine.

Two Dunnocks appeared: the one at the Lido restaurant ...

... and one of a pair near the bridge.

One of the Coal Tits here came out to be fed ...

... and the usual three Jays followed us along the edge of the Long Water.

There were plenty of Redwings on the Parade Ground ...

... and a couple of Mistle Thrushes.

Blossoming trees beside the Serpentine attracted Buff-Tailed Bumblebees ...

... and a hoverfly that I can't identify.

Update: Conehead54 says it is probably Eristalis pertinax, which have the aquatic 'rat-tailed maggot' larvae that can often be seen here being dragged out of the water by hungry Black-Headed Gulls.

The Royal Artillery passed through Hyde Park on their way to fire a gun salute in Green Park celebrating the Queen's accession to the throne in 1952.


  1. No wonder those horses always seem nervous- all that shooting. Was the truck part of the procession, to pick up droppings?

    1. The sweeper lorry followed at a discreet distance, hence the break in the video, but it seemed a fitting coda to the grand procession. I think the horses are well used to the bangs -- which incidentally are half charges of black powder and not nearly as loud as firing a real shell with modern propellant.

  2. During military parades here trucks pick up after horses immediately after mounted units pass from the spectators' sight. It is quite anticlimatic, although surely more hygienic.

    Those are splendid horses, to be sure. I don't know much about horse breeds: are those pure English breeds?

    I'm a bit nervous about that massive storm. Is it going to be bad?

    1. The finest 'English thoroughbred' horses, the ideal to which breeders aspire, are actually descendants of two oriental horses, the Godolphin Arab and the Byerley Turk.

      Who knows what or even whether the storm will be? British weather forecasting is a gamble against chaos.

  3. Ralph, your hoverfly looks like one of the dronefly group- Eristalis pertinax, which have the aquatic rat-tailed maggot larvae, though a thick organic sludge will suffice!

    It was a stunning day one the fog tardily lifted. Hopefully no fog this morning as I'm off to do my WeBS this morning!

    1. Thanks for the information, which I'll add to the main text. Good luck with the count. I'll be doing mine on Monday as always, since weekend crowds in the park make it impossible on the scheduled Sunday.