Thursday, 7 January 2021

A frosty morning, but the sun was shining. A Mute Swan flew up the Serpentine in the haze.

The Black Swan and two Mute Swans strayed under the bridge on to the Long Water, and promptly got herded off by the dominant male. There was no need for a fight, they know who's boss.

A Gadwall drake in his quietly elegant plumage mooched around a fountain pool in the Italian Garden.

Also here, the Red-Crested Pochard who is in the odd trio with a female and male Mallard asserted his authority over other Mallards and Gadwalls, and shooed off a Coot..

A Tufted drake looked very smart on the Long Water.

There was a Coot fight as usual. One Coot was winning by forcing its rival under water, where it would have to yield.

Two Grey Heron nests on the south side of the island were occupied in the herons' long game of musical chairs.

These pictures were taken from the far side of the lake.

A bit of sunshine will start Coal Tits singing even on the coldest winter day. This one was in the Rose Garden.

A Blue Tit flitted around in a rose bush.

I had often wondered whether birds could perch in monkeypuzzle trees, with their needle-sharp leaves. Here's a Great Tit in one. I only had time for a single snatched shot before it flew away.

A Wren came out on a branch near the bridge.

A Starling in the leaf yard showed off his iridescent plumage. Male Starlings have a blue tinge at the base of the bill, females pink.

A Wood Pigeon bathed in the pool at the top of the Dell waterfall.

This handsome bronze Feral Pigeon is often on the railings of the waterfront at Peter Pan.

The hardy Field Marigold at the back of the Vista is still flowering.


  1. I went out yesterday evening around 1545 to top up the feeders and was amazed to hear a dunnock singing.

    1. A surprising number of birds will sing in winter if they feel the urge.

  2. European serins and chiffchaffs are already singing here, and it's the coldest days of winter so far. It is such a cheery spectacle, full of hope and life.

    I wonder why the dominant Swan takes such pains to shoo everyone off. Its dominions are so large there is a bit of lake for everyone.

    The Tuftie looks like it is dressed for a formal dinner!

    1. The Long Water is smaller than the Serpentine, and quite easy for a powerful swan to control, while the bridge separating the two is a clear frontier understood by both occupants and intruders.

      But forty or so years ago, when there were fewer swans, the whole area of both lakes belonged to a single pair -- there was a succession of owners -- and all the other swans were confined to the Round Pond, which is still the home of low ranking swans.

      I love the jaunty smartness of Tufted drakes.