Monday, 18 January 2021

Carrion Crows enjoyed a brawl at the leaf yard.

A Goldcrest peeped out of a bush by the bridge.

A flock of Long-Tailed Tits moved down the edge of the Serpentine.

A Blackbird came out on a branch at the back of the Lido.

One of the two handsome bronze Feral Pigeons perched on the railings at Peter Pan.

Both Peregrines were on the barracks tower, keeping their distance from each other.

As usual, one Grey Heron looked on while the other was at work on the nest.

A heron waded along the edge of the Long Water looking for a rat in the undergrowth. They always like to keep their feet on the ground. They can swim if they have to, but not at all well.

There can't be much meat left in this crayfish claw. The young Herring Gull was just playing with it.

Another was playing with a tennis ball. A Carrion Crow grabbed it and played with it briefly, but really wasn't interested and left it. The fun was in stealing it.

Two Cormorants on the Long Water were already in breeding plumage.

The Black Swan was on the Round Pond in militant mood. It can dominate most of the Mute Swans here, but has a much harder time when it comes down to the main lake.

There were six Gadwalls on the Serpentine and 18 in the park as a whole, the largest total I've seen.

But this Shoveller drake on the Serpentine was alone.

The pool at the top of the Dell waterfall attracts all kinds of birds which come to drink and bathe. A pair of Mallards shared it with two Carrion Crows.

'Anything you say may be taken down and used in evidence.'

Sunday, 17 January 2021

During the cold weather, Great Tits are coming out of the bushes all over the park asking to be fed.

A Blue Tit waited in a bush near the bridge ...

... where Ahmet Amerikali got a second shot of a Long-Tailed Tit clinging on with one foot and holding a mealworm with the other.

A Coal Tit in a rose bush in the Rose Garden ...

... and a Robin.

Ahmet found a Green Woodpecker nearby.

No sign of the Kingfisher for several days. There was a Stock Dove in its favourite place opposite Peter Pan.

Wood Pigeons ate very unripe ivy berries in a tree behind the Rima relief. They don't seem to mind how hard and green berries are.

A Carrion Crow spent some time examining one of the baskets put up for Grey Herons on the island. It would be a good foundation for a crow's nest, but of course both they and herons are more than capable of starting one from scratch.

The herons themselves were all out of their nests. One perched on a rowing boat ...

... and there was a pair on the pedalos.

A Herring Gull picked algae off a large stone.

The Coots that build a doomed nest every year on a post at Peter Pan have started early. Like socialists, they do the same thing over and over again in the mistaken belief that it will succeed this time.

Several pairs of Egyptian Geese were shouting at each other from the tops of dead trees.

A Gadwall drake preened at the Vista.

There are very few chickens in central London. These are in the allotment in Kensington Gardens. Several years ago I found some in Lambeth.

Saturday, 16 January 2021

A Robin fluffed itself up to the max on a dank day, did a bit of preening and sang a few phrases.

A female Blackbird foraged on the rain-sodden turf near the Rose Garden.

The young Grey Heron was fishing at the Serpentine outflow.

We haven't seen a gull eating a crayfish for some time, but a Herring Gull had found one here, and was keeping the hungry Carrion Crows away.

The Turkish Crayfish in the lake go through boom-and-bust cycles which I can't explain. Also, there used to be American Signal Crayfish but these seem to have disappeared entirely. Both are invasive species and elsewhere they are all too successful.

Usually a Moorhen has no trouble evicting a Black-Headed Gull from a post. It just walks up the chain ...

... and off the gull goes.

But sometimes the gull refuses to budge, calling the Moorhen's bluff.

A pair of Great Crested Grebes displayed on the Long Water. They didn't work up quite enough enthusiasm to dance, but they will soon.

The Mallard drake often seen in the Dell with his mate posed proudly on a rock.

The duckboards in the Italian Garden seldom attract ducks, which prefer to fly when they leave the pond. But today there were two Mallards standing on the base of one of them. They are members of the trio with the Red-Crested Pochard drake ...

... who was preening his fine feathers a short way off.

Common Pochard drakes are also very handsome.

Mute Swans massed at the Lido. The grassy bank at the back is a favourite grazing spot.

The Tyburn Brook is a small stream that runs from Bayswater and originally joined the Westbourne river near the present Serpentine island (which is artificial). It's not the same as the larger Tyburn river, which runs a mile to the east. The brook is now completely covered up, but after prolonged heavy rain it bursts out of its culvert and forms a pond in Hyde Park which is enjoyed by the local birds.

Friday, 15 January 2021

A chilly grey day. The Africans on the Albert Memorial probably wished they were home. (But why is she wearing a turkey on her head?)

The male Peregrine was back on the barracks after several days' absence. He is noticeably darker than his mate.

A family of Magpies looked for worms and bugs under the fallen leaves.

A Carrion Crow played with a small object, picking it up and throwing it around. I couldn't see what it was.

This Robin was just two feet away from a gardener in the Rose Garden, watching to see if he would bring up a worm.

The usual Blue Tit beside the Long Water looked so pretty on a twig with yellow lichen that it had to wait while I photographed it before handing over the customary pine nut.

The two Lesser Black-backed Gulls at the Lido are now definitely an item.

A Coot went down a line of Black-Headed Gulls like a general reviewing the troops. The sloppy squad were not standing to attention.

The pair of Egyptian Geese in the Diana fountain are now on their own after their rival was taken into safe keeping. They supervised some bathing gulls.

Another Egyptian gave her large multicoloured wings careful attention. You can hear her mate calling as he watched her from the shore.

A view through the bridge: the dominant male Mute Swan on the Long Water shoos off two intruders.

A Red-Crested Pochard drake took off ...

... and a Shoveller passed by under the balustrade of the Italian Garden. It looks like a drake in eclipse, but it's far too late for that to be normal. Maybe it's a very slow first year male.

Shower time for Henry Moore.

Thursday, 14 January 2021

It has been raining for a long time, and the park is completely saturated. An Egyptian Goose waded on what was supposed to be a footpath.

Black-Headed Gulls explored a flood on the edge of the Serpentine.

A Dunnock looked for food on the wet tarmac of the Lido restaurant terrace.

But it all makes no difference to a Great Crested Grebe.

A pair of Grey Herons from one of the nests on the island came down to the water's edge ...

... while a young one preened on the gate.

A young Herring Gull played with a rope attached to a buoy at the Lido.

It does look as if the lonely male Lesser Black-backed Gull here has found a new mate.

The pigeon-eating gull had had his breakfast, and Carrions Crows finished off the remains.

There was a little fleet of Tufted Ducks at Peter Pan.

On the Round Pond, the Black Swan bore down on a young Herring Gull, which left in a hurry.

There was a pair of Gadwalls ...

... and a Shoveller drake.

Urban Robins sing louder than country ones. They have to, to make themselves heard over the noise of the traffic. This one was on the edge of the busy Bayswater Road.

The one at the east end of the Lido clearly dislikes being photographed, but puts up with it because it knows it will be fed afterwards.

A Blue Tit eating a pine nut was interrupted by a Great Tit perching too close, and took its food off to finish elsewhere.

A squirrel tried to get into someone's rucksack, but couldn't work the zip. They'll learn.