Wednesday 30 September 2020

An unexpected visitor to the Round Pond.

It's not the first time a Ringed Plover has been spotted in the park, but waders of any kind are seldom seen. When they do appear, it's generally at the Round Pond rather than on the larger lake. The pond is in an open place on high ground and can be seen from miles away, and I have an idea that it may be on a flyway where the tall golden spire of the Albert Memorial serves as a way marker.

I had gone to the Round Pond because the Black Swan was missing from the Serpentine. It had indeed returned for the second time.

The Black Swan seems restless and lonely. It's young and doesn't know its way around London, and is unaware that there is a group of Black Swans nearby in St James's Park.

A Grey Heron stood in front of a line of Cormorants on the posts at one end of the island.

At the other end a Cormorant balanced precariously on a chain to preen. It could perfectly well have climbed up to the post where it would have been much more comfortable, but it chose not to and was having to clutch the chain tightly with its not very grippy webbed feet.

Another heron waited on a branch of the dead willow near the Italian Garden until a fish came within reach.

It also caught a Migrant Hawker dragonfly.

A Moorhen in the stream in the Dell pushed down some reed stems to make a convenient place to stand.

Tom sent a fine picture of a Jack Snipe hiding in the reeds in Richmond Park.

One of the Grey Wagtails was back at the Lido restaurant.

A Blue Tit looked out from a bunch of holly berries at the bridge.

One of the usual pair of Coal Tits was in the same tree ...

...and Ahmet Amerikali got a picture of a Long-Tailed Tit here a couple of days ago.

On a dull and slightly drizzly day there were fewer insects in the ivy at the back of the Lido, but the numerous Common Wasps were still flying around and there was one European Hornet.


  1. Oh Gosh, what a lovely Ringed Plover! Aren't they the sweetest thing ever? So glad you found one today!

    Cormorants do enjoy making things difficult, it seems.

    1. It really is a very charming little creature. I'm afraid it won't stay. When we get errant waders they always realise their mistake and go off in search of somewhere better.

  2. Congrats, Ralph on the plover- cracking video. Must be your bird of the year in the park!

    Interesting to see the Heron catch the Migrant Hawker. It reminds me of a photo last year, I think taken in Somerset where a Great White Egret was filmed taking a pair of rare Lesser Emperors that were in tandem.

    Wonder if the forecast storms will send a rare seabird your way? A juvenile Sabine's Gull was reported from the Thames Estuary a few days ago.

    1. Yes, that plover was a splendid surprise. Luckily after eight years on this blog I have managed to grab the camera and not just gawp.

      I've seen a Little Grebe take a passing dragonfly, probably a Brown Hawker but it went down too fast to be sure.