Friday 18 December 2020

The first-winter Goldeneye drake on the Serpentine took a break from diving to have a good preen. He's moulting into his first adult plumage and probably feeling itchy.

The netting protecting a reed bed on the Serpentine has been torn off, probably by Mute Swans wanting to eat the reeds. You'd think these were a bit tough, but both swans and geese seem to like them.

The visiting Cormorants have almost fished out the lake and their numbers have fallen. One on the Long Water tried the usual places near the Italian Garden without catching anything, then perched uncomfortably on a very small stick to dry its wings before flying away.

The pair of Grey Herons on the island displayed briefly to each other, then got on with adding twigs to their nest. It's become noticeably bigger since yesterday.

A Lesser Black-Backed Gull and a Black-Headed Gull ate bits of the same crayfish in the Italian Garden. The larger gull certainly didn't catch it here, as the fountains are a closed system and don't share the water of the main lakes.

Black-Headed Gulls pecked at a puddle beside the horse ride on the north shore of the Serpentine. They seemed to be finding things to eat here, but these were too small for me or the camera to see.

The male Peregrine was on the tower in the morning ...

... and was joined by the female later.

A Green Woodpecker appeared in the Diana fountain enclosure. It's a quiet place for them to look for worms and insects.

A Grey Wagtail was flying around the Serpentine, the first one I've seen for some time.

The female Coal Tit near the bridge graciously allowed me to photograph her before she came down for a pine nut.

A Blue Tit beside the Long Water wasn't prepared to wait, and there was only time for one picture ...

... before it took off.

On a grey drizzly day few people had come to feed the Rose-Ringed Parakeets, but a mob of them gathered hopefully in a tree beside the path.


  1. Gosh, that picture of the Blue Tit on the wing! How admirable! It was raising its crest a little, so it was clearly getting impatient.

    The female Coal Tit is graciousness itself. A true little lady.

    1. The little birds live at a much faster tempo than us, and a few seconds' wait seems like ages to them. The Coal Tit was more patient because she could see a lot of Great Tits flying in and knew she had to wait till they had finished feeding.

  2. Good to see the Goldeneye sprucing up. Guess it may stay for the winter now, though birds can be very unpredictable!

    Very elegant shot of the drinking Black-headed Gull.

    Pleased you have a Grey Wagtail back. Such beautiful birds.

    1. I think most of the Grey Wagtails we see in the park are visitors from a small colony on the old coal wharf at Chelsea Bridge. There is also usually one nest by the Dell waterfall.

  3. I do sometimes work by Chelsea Bridge, so do regularly see Grey Wagtails there.

    1. I've seen them flying out of the park towards Sloane Street, in a direct line to the bridge.