Sunday 14 February 2021

The freezing weather seems to be over, though an enormous icicle remains under the bridge, caused by water seeping through the stonework from a broken gutter in the roadway. 

The ice on the Long Water is melting, leaving just enough to support a flock of Black-Headed Gulls.

Coots can dive again ...

... and a Grey Heron can walk down the edge, nicely placed to catch either a fish under the marginal plants or a rat in the brambles.

A heron in a tree on the island was buzzed by a Magpie.

I haven't heard anything from the heron chick for three days, and the day before yesterday two Carrion Crows were perched ominously near the nest. I fear the worst. But the pair will probably breed again. A couple of years ago a pair managed to raise chicks only on their third try.

The Black Swan was still on the Serpentine, feeding quietly and not engaged in any dominance games.

A small flock of Gadwalls has arrived on the Serpentine, perhaps displaced by a lake freezing somewhere else. Here is a pair browsing on algae and whatever they can find at the edge.

A Common Gull perched on a post.

The female Peregrine was on the tower.

A Blackbird in the Dell poked around for worms and insects in the thawed soil.

The usual Blue Tit near the Italian Garden was waiting to be fed. It knows the people who have food, and instantly pops out of the brambles.

Another Blue Tit ...

... and a Long-Tailed Tit were looking for bugs on an old hawthorn tree near the Dell, encrusted with lichen.

I didn't get a picture of a Robin in the park, but as I was coming home past Queen Alexandra's House, an enormous red brick student hostel of 1884 in florid 'Pont Street Dutch' style, there was one singing sweetly on a clump of wisteria.


  1. Very glad to see the worst seems to be over. I hope you shall be able to do the bird count tomorrow without losing any fingers...

    Thanks to the invaluable pictures from Pillar to Post, I know now what 'Pont Street Dutch' style is!

    1. This is what the building looks like, including the wisteria where the robin was. It was just called 'Alexandra's House' when built, because Queen Victoria was still alive and Alexandra was Princess of Wales at the time, but they renamed it when her husband Edward VII came to the throne. It houses students from the Royal College of Music, and on summer days when the windows are open a good deal of tootling emerges.

  2. That icicle looks potentially lethal! Guess it will disappear soon as the temperatures rise this week. By comparison looks almost tropical next weekend with 160r 17C.

    Note that your Common Gull is still in winter plumage. We get large numbers around here on the playing fields & quite a few are now in summer dress with gleaming white heads!

    1. Yea, that Common Gull is being a bit slow to change. There seems to be a wide variation in timing, most noticeable with Black-Headed Gulls.