Thursday 22 October 2020

A Wood Pigeon eating holly berries lurched and flapped from twig to twig, and eventually fell out of the tree -- as they usually do.

There is probably a pair of Green Woodpeckers permanently at the north end of Buck Hill, but you only see one occasionally.

When photographing Long-Tailed Tits you begin to realise that, although the flock is always in motion, they do have favourite places. One of these is at the east end of the Lido.

There is always a family of Chaffinches in the shrubbery at the southwest corner of the bridge.

A Magpie found a rich haul in a bin at the Lido.

A Carrion Crow drank at the small waterfall in the Dell.

A Great Crested Grebe was fishing under the willow near the bridge.

A young Moorhen washed and preened in a place that an adult considered its territory, and was chased out.

But the pair at the Lido restaurant had to put up with two big Mallards on their patch.

All the Mallard drakes are now in full breeding plumage except for this one at the Diana landing stage. Maybe it's young.

A pair of Gadwalls have returned to the upper end of the Long Water ...

... and a pair of Shovellers were feeding at the Vista.

Two interesting pictures by Duncan Campbell. There is a row of young sweet chestnut trees at the west end of Rotten Row, and some branches hang down fairly near the ground. Greylag Geese were picking chestnuts.

They had no difficulty in opening the spiky seed case, extracting the nut, crushing the shell, and eating the inside.

The Black Swan made sure its feathers were in good order ...

... then obsessively followed a male Mute Swan around. We still can't be sure that it's female, but it looks like it.


  1. Well I would not have expected it would even occur to Greylag Geese to try to tackle sweet chestnuts, let alone succeed. Next, they will be staking out the squirrels that fell them to bury later. Jim

    1. They probably only get the chestnuts on the low branches. All fallen chestnuts are efficiently gathered as soon as the park opens by groups of Chinese and Italians, both of whom are very partial to them.

    2. I'm very partial to chestnuts, too! They are part of many traditional dishes in northern Spain. Before the existence of potatoes in Spain it was the main source of starch. I suppose Italy and Spain inherited the taste from ancient Rome, but I'm stumped about the Chinese.

      Very funny video of the falling pigeon. It is unkind of me to laugh, but I do!

      The mute swan looks unresponsive. Poor Black Swan, it must feel lonely. Do female swans follow males around?

    3. I'm beginning to feel very sorry for the Black Swan, who is clearly lonely and becoming more and more restless, and thinking that it might be a kind act to grab her and move her to St James's Park to be with the other Black Swans. But I am far from sure about this, as it would upset the swans there and simply cause fighting. Also, the Black Swans in St James's Park are bullied by the Mute Swans, while this one seems to be holding her own.

    4. I guess if she isn't comfortable she might flight back to Kensington Gardens rather than remain at St James's Park? It may be worth a try.

    5. The trouble is that she probably doesn't know her way around London. She arrived very young, and probably lost, on the Round Pond -- which, unlike the main lakes, can be seen from the air from a long distance away. If she is taken to St James's Park by van, she won't know where she is or that it's only a few minutes' flight from Hyde Park.

  2. Ralph-looking at your Mallard photo, I wonder whether the odd plumaged bird might be an intersex bird? Apparently it isn't that unusual in this species. Will be interesting to keep an eye on it to see if it does develop more typical male plumage.

    1. Yes, I was wondering about that myself. Will try to keep an eye on it.