Friday 25 September 2020

It was a windy day, and the long stems of the weeping willows thrashed around furiously.

A young great Crested Grebe and its father bounced up and down on the waves.

A Coot carried a fallen leaf around for no discernible reason.

The Black Swan dozed unconcernedly on the path at the edge of the Serpentine. Swans expect people to get out of their way, which luckily people do as they are afraid of swans.

One of the three dark Mallard drakes trotted across the Italian Garden. It is now in its peculiar breeding plumage, with a white bib instead of the usual white neck ring.

A Grey Heron probed a puddle, and surprisingly found some small edible creature in it.

The heron in the Dell is now making a habit of watching from the top of the standing stone, as can be seen from the mess it has made.

The pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull was looking at the lunch menu.

A Carrion Crow dug for insects in a flower pot. It was probably finding vine weevil grubs which eat the roots of plants, so it was helping the gardeners.

A crow looked down from the Henry Moore sculpture.

You can see in the bottom left corner of this picture that a square has been cut out of the stone and carefully replaced. Originally the 'Arch' was made of three pieces of stone with the top balanced on two uprights. But it didn't have adequate foundations and began to sink into the London clay, and the joints came apart and it was in danger of collapse. It was quickly taken down and not replaced for some years. Then the stonework was hollowed out and steel reinforcements inserted, and the whole thing was bolted to a massive foundation of girders sunk into the ground. The cutout you can see is for access to bolts holding the steelwork together.

Magpies can always find something to eat on the edge of the Serpentine.

A crowd of Rose-Ringed Parakeets were in a yew tree eating the fruit -- or more exactly chewing it to squeeze out some of the sticky juice and then spitting it out.

A Goldcrest flitted around in another yew in the leaf yard, looking for insects. 

A Pied Wagtail, also hunting insects, ran around in the Diana fountain enclosure.

A Robin heard another bird giving an alarm call and looked around nervously.


  1. I can't tell alarm calls from garden variety irritable ticking from ordinary Robins. I am amazed that they can. I guess it is because they speak the Robin tongue and I don't...

    I think Coots just like colour. Their fondness for interior decoration doesn't sit very well with their ferocity though.

    Thw willows look as if they are weeping with pain, poor things.

    1. I think that alarm call had definite alarm in it and was not just territorial.

      The idea of a gang of ferocious interior decorators is pleasing. They can do terrible things to houses, so people would be an easy prey.