Friday 12 February 2021

A beautiful sunrise on another freezing day, photographed by David Lacey, who has the fortitude to get up early.

The bitter northeast wind blasting in straight from Scandinavia was too much even for Carrion Crows.

The frozen ground is making life hard for Blackbirds, which can't dig up worms. One perched on a branch beside the Serpentine and looked around for a chance of something.

But the small birds were out foraging, as they must to survive. A Robin perched on a twig beside the Long Water ...

... and there was a Wren on a bush in the Rose Garden.

A Feral Pigeon tried to drink from a frozen fountain. Paul kindly kicked a hole in the ice for it.

Long-Tailed Tits were making good use of the mealworm feeder in the Dell, which has just been refilled.

A Pied Wagtail hunted along the edge of the Serpentine.

The pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull lunged at a pigeon and missed. But he always gets one sooner or later.

Some Black-Headed Gulls were eating small creatures brought up by an air bubbler, probably Daphnia water fleas. A young Herring Gull thought they had found something more substantial and barged in to grab it. But it was disappointed, and flew away.

A Grey Heron landed on the railing of the jetty at the Lido ...

... and was immediately pushed off by a one-legged Black-Headed Gull in a foul mood.

The heron in the nest at the west end of the island was turning over the eggs.

The ice on the Long Water has been broken up by the waves, but there is some in the Italian Garden fountains. A pair of Mallards were finding food at the edge.

The number of Gadwalls in the park remains high. I have to do my monthly count on Monday and will see if it's gone up since last month, when I found 18. This pair is well established on the terrace of the Lido restaurant.

You can look straight down into the water from the balustrade at the Serpentine outflow and get a top view of a diving Tufted drake.


  1. Hence the expression, "Like water off a duck's back".

    1. Look closely at a duck in the water and you will see a meniscus where the water refuses to touch its sides.

  2. It's almost surreal how clearly the diving Tuftie can be seen while diving underwater.
    The poor birds look very cold and very miserable. May God repay every kindness that is being done to His creatures by compassionate, good men.

    1. The water in the lake becomes very clear in cold weather as the algae die down, and the Tufted drakes' brilliant white sides show up well. I've had better video of this in the past at Peter Pan, where dives are restricted by the shallowness of the water.

  3. An amazing sunrise! Saw a very pink one here but it was a lovely day if well wrapped up. Most of the Blackbirds (quite a few for a change) & Redwings I encountered yesterday were feeding on Ivy berries.

    I've been surprised to hear Wrens actually singing on the last couple of days-I would have expected them to conserve their energy. Think today is the last of the very cold days for now anyway.

    1. I heard Wren singing too, but only briefly. With their usual talent for bad timing, the park management have had the big ivy hedge at the back of the Lido pruned to stumps, Their previous act was to cut down the teasels in the Rose Garden which were sustaining a small flock of Goldfinches. This is what happens when things are run by people behind desks.

  4. No thinking there, Ralph. Ivy is such a useful wildlife plant though appreciate it needs some control in places.

    1. And yet ivy is allowed to run riot around the greenhouses, where it's killing the trees.