Monday, 17 February 2020

This Coot has been trying literally for weeks to make a nest on a branch of the dead willow near the Italian Garden, and still can't get any twigs to stick. But it stubbornly refuses to give up.

The Red Crested Pochard and his Mallard mate left their place in the Italian Garden when the fountains were being repaired, but now they're back in their preferred pool.

The afternoon sunshine brought out the iridescence of a Tufted drake at Peter Pan.

A visit to the Round Pond found the Black Swan badgering visitors for food.

A Great Crested Grebe bobbed up and down in the waves. They are never more than occasional visitors to the pond, which has plenty of fish but is too open to suit them.

A Common Gull stared at the camera.

The weathervane on the clock at the Diana memorial playground is in the shape of a gull. It's pointing the wrong way because the pivot has stuck.

A young Herring Gull on the Serpentine got a great deal of enjoyment from a very simple toy.

There was also a young Grey Heron on the shore. It must have flown in from another park accompanied by an adult to show it the way. Perhaps it comes from Battersea Park, where the herons bred very early and the young are already independent.

On a grey and rather dank morning it was a surprise to see a Little Owl in the lime tree near the Henry Moore sculpture.

Rose-Ringed Parakeets guarded a hole in a chestnut tree near the Round Pond.

There are still plenty of Redwings on the Parade Ground.

But I still can't find a Fieldfare, although Des McKenzie saw one here several days ago.

A blossoming tree attracted a Wood Pigeon, not interested in admiring it but wanting to eat the flowers.

These flowers must be a tribute to Anthony Soh, a student at Imperial College who disappeared on 22 March 2011 after a night out. His body was discovered on 6 April when it came to the surface in the Serpentine and floated ashore near one of the small boathouses.

Here is a picture from 2011, with offerings of food from his friends to sustain him in the afterlife.


  1. It seems strange that the Round Pond would seem to open for Great-crested Grebes as I often see quite a few of them on the sea in the winter months. Lat month I saw c20 on the sea around Norfolk. Maybe some other factor too?

    1. A lot of people wandering round the edge? Nowhere to nest or lurk?

  2. Was the victim from Singapore? It's fascinating that his friends made offerings of food to his spirit.

    There is something oddly soothing in watching small children and young gulls play.

    Poor Coot. It is quite a tragedy. Why is it to bad at it?

  3. I think Anthony Soh was from mainland China, since his original name was Yenzhen, which looks like a pinyin spelling. There are many PRC students at Imperial College, and when their parents turn up at graduation day the area looks like a very smart suburb of Beijing and the air is loud with the coos of tonal speech.

    As for the Coot, perhaps in every activity some must fail, or we could not marvel at the success of others.