Sunday 6 December 2020

The White-Fronted Geese from the Diana memorial fountain were gone today, but there was one on the Round Pond. I think that all the birds we have seen in the past few days are different, as they pass through on their winter migration from northern Europe.

It was a busy Sunday and the shore was covered with people and dogs, so the shy wild bird couldn't come ashore to graze. It flew away in the direction of the Wetland Centre at Barnes.

The Black Swan was on the pond as usual. It was wild too when it flew in, but has adapted quickly to park life.

The Goldeneye was still at the east end of the Serpentine, diving busily and coming up holding strands of algae.

A Pochard was also diving near the bridge.

The Red-Crested Pochard and his Mallard mate were in the Italian Garden with a pair of Gadwalls.

The Great Crested Grebes from the east end of the island were at the other end, the territory of another pair who were temporarily away fishing, and were congratulating each other on their trespass.

The pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull had been preening, and had a feather stuck to his bill. Even in winter plumage he is the smartest gull on the lake, and knows it.

A Black-Headed Gull was already in full breeding plumage.

The Grey Heron was occupying the top nest on the island again.

Feral Pigeons seem to find puddles irresistible.

A Robin in the Rose Garden had caught a worm, and was cutting it into sections to make it easier to swallow.

Another Robin foraged at the back of the Lido.

I don't generally photograph Grey Squirrels, but sometimes you have to. It had picked up an apple put out for the Rose-Ringed Parakeets.

The cruel Romans crucified St Peter upside down and St Andrew diagonally, but they would have been astonished at the tortures that people voluntarily inflict on themselves today.


  1. You were lucky to see the Whitefront take off. I'll be doing WeBS counts along the Thames from Putney to Barnes this weekend coming so hopefully the geese will be on the adjacent playing fields rather than in LWC-then I'll get them on my count.

    Great shot of the Goldeneye from such an unusual angle-head-on.

    1. I'm often surprised at how migrating birds manage to find their way around London, especially water birds apparently knowing every lake and feeding ground. The star performance was by the Bearded Tits a few years ago, when they found reed beds all the way from the river Lea along the Regent's Canal and from Paddington Basin to the Serpentine -- where it seems most unlikely they had been before -- and then returned by the same route.

  2. That's impressive core strength there. It looks ridiculous, to be sure, but it does carry over to very useful skills to have.

    I wonder there the white-fronted goose is going to go now. I thought England was as far south as they ventured.

    Doubtless Robins are ferocious little creatures. They out-gull gulls pound for pound!

    1. According to the map in the Collins Bird guide, White-Fronted Geese end up all down the west side of England, Wales and Scotland, and in Ireland -- regions of mild Atlantic weather.

      I wonder how Robins manage to pull up worms. It's often a struggle for a much larger thrush.