Monday 21 December 2020

There are now four occupied Grey Heron nests on the island. The topmost and largest one had both birds on it.

One of the others tried to break off a twig to add to its nest. These very thin birds aren't strong and each twig costs them a considerable effort, but their nests are enormous. Being accomplished fish hunters, they have plenty of spare time, and now they need it.

A Herring Gull needs to use considerable force to tear a crayfish to pieces.

One of our two visiting Polish Black-Headed Gulls strolled along its usual pitch beside the Serpentine. It was ringed as a chick in the summer of 2012 near Warsaw and flew to Hyde Park that winter, and has come here every year since.

A pair of Mute Swans courted on the Serpentine.

A group of Greylag Geese chewed bark off a fallen branch.

The Goldeneye was in the middle of the lake, so today's picture is a distant one.

The Red-Crested Pochard in the Italian Garden took time off from being with his Mallard mate and rested on the fallen willow under the marble fountain.

There was a group of Shovellers on the Long Water, as well as a single drake at the island.

On the island, a Rose-Ringed Parakeet tried to get into a Blue Tit nesting box. This has a metal plate over the hole, intended to keep out woodpeckers trying to eat the chicks. We shall see if it stands up to a parakeet's powerful beak.

The bold Coal Tit near the Albert Memorial came down to feed from my hand. It has a mate, which is shyer and won't come yet.

Similarly, at the bridge only one of the two Coal Tits -- the female -- will come to the hand.

One of the family of Chaffinches in the same place.

A pleasing picture by Neil of a Jackdaw on an oak in the leaf yard.

There are four new wooden sculptures in the North Flower Walk, each made from durable oak and showing ladybirds ...

... a stagbeetle ...

... a centipede ...

... and some rather impressionistic bees on a bench. They are by Tom Harvey. 

There are two more in Hyde Park, in the Meadow, which I haven't seen yet.


  1. That's a strange choice of subject. Perhaps the artist likes insects.

    I always marvel at how strong gulls are. Only their weak little feet stand between them and world tyranny.

    Is this the first time you've seen our Polish friend this year? Always cheering to see familiar "faces".

    1. There's a fashion for invertebrates. But the sculptures are pleasing.

      The Polish Gull returned to the park in August this year, rather early. I was wrong about Gdańsk -- that's what it says on the ring, but all Polish rings say Gdańsk just as all English ones say London. In fact it was ringed at a little lake in a park west of Warsaw.

    2. Isn't it incredible... like our Golden Plovers, unassuming birds all the way from Iceland and Siberia!

    3. We get gulls from Russia occasionally. The gull ring specialist Alan Gibson has found several Russian Black-Headed Gulls in central London, and other people have found Common Gulls from there, distinctive in being very dark. The swan reserves at Slimbridge and Abbotsbury have regular Bewick's and Whooper Swans which migrate annually from Siberia.