Tuesday 22 December 2020

There is a small conifer in the middle of the soggy grass between the Dell and the Rose Garden. There were two Goldcrests in it. Here is one hopping around on the ground underneath ...

... and the other taking off from a twig.

A Great Tit at the bridge gave the camera a solemn stare.

A beautiful picture by Neil of a Starling in some fallen oak leaves.

A Carrion Crow bathed in a puddle on a flooded part of the Vista.

The pair of Grey Herons on the top nest on the island don't have any nest building duties, as the nest is quite large enough. So, having claimed it as their own, they can pass the time in preening.

The nest in the next tree, however, is still too small and the resident heron was hard at work enlarging it.

The female Peregrine was on the barracks tower in the morning.

Late the male arrived and they seemed to be quarrelling. He flew off as I was heading for the tower to get a better picture than this distant one.

The pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull was eating a crayfish some way along the shore from his usual hunting ground ...

... and the Feral Pigeons were taking advantage of his absence to have a bathe.

A Black-Headed Gull played with a mysterious brown lumpy thing, possibly a bit of gnarled bark.

Another had a lurid pink stain on its front, much too bright to be blood. It also seemed to be sticky, and the gull was trying to preen it away. Maybe it had been eating some artificially coloured sweet.

Cormorants perched on the remains of the swans' nesting island in the Long Water. They have almost fished out the lake and the number visiting has gone down considerably. Soon they will all return to the Thames.

The Goldeneye was at the east end of the Serpentine as usual.


  1. Nice goldeneye shot, it does exactly what it says on the tin

    1. Its eyes are getting more golden as it grows up. Interesting to watch day by day.

  2. I am suppressing the urge to wave back to the Goldeneye. It looks ready to wave to its admirers.

    It's odd how ill-tempered the female Peregrine is. I am reminded of the famous pair of Bald Eagles at Decorah: the male and female didn't get along at all, at all, with each other, and yet they were excellent parents together who would rear two or three chicks per year. Perhaps they were staying for the kids.

    1. The Goldeneye was over 100 metres away and just happened to be looking straight towards me in one shot, so I chose that shot. A 600 mm lens allows that kind of intrusion.

      I know several people like that female Peregrine, sadly.

    2. Peregrines are so much fiercer than other birds that, even when pair-bonding, they don't show the kind of overt affection that other birds can display. But on fine clear days in the months soon to come, when the pair are a thousand or more feet in the air, the tiercel hurtling by the female, climbing hard up above her and streaking down again, or when they chase each other all over the sky, making the infinite vastness of blue and white seem small - that is how peregrines do their courting.

      I've seen some classic ledge display from this pair over the last few weeks (bowing to each other, etc) but hardly anything in the way of display-flying. Hopefully that will start to change over the next few weeks.

    3. A few days ago I did see the male dropping a prey item for the female to catch -- or at least I think I did, as they were disappearing behind the tower as they did so.

  3. Lovely Goldcrest shots.

    If I don't comment again beforehand-have a peaceful Xmas, Ralph & thanks for sharing the parks with us every day-always enjoyable to view.

    1. And a happy Christmas to you too, and may the new year be less insane.