Thursday, 22 April 2021

The two Jays in Kensington Gardens that will take peanuts from your hand have a talent for posing against picturesque backgrounds. This is the one at the bridge ...

... and this is the one near the Albert Memorial, photographed by Neil.

A Jackdaw did its best but couldn't match their style.

A Carrion Crow dunked a bit of bread in the stream in the Dell.

There may be two Cetti's Warblers in Kensington Gardens. There was singing on both sides of the Long Water at different times. Neil managed to get several shots of this elusive bird.

This very confident Robin will eat out of your hand, but today was so busy singing that it wouldn't come down, even for delicious pine nuts. (I have no idea why this bit of the South Flower Walk is called Snob's Crossing, and almost no one uses the name.)

The Blue Tit near the Italian Garden followed me along the path, asking for food.

A Dunnock in the Rose Garden looked for insects under a bench and came out on to the path.

This is the hole in the oak near the Albert Memorial formerly owned by a pair of Little Owls, but I haven't seen these for more than a year and I fear they're gone -- they were at least eight years old. Since then Jackdaws and squirrels have competed for the hole but Stock Doves have got it, as these aggressive birds tend to do.

One of the young Grey Herons flapped well developed wings in the nest. They are being very backward about coming out.

The four Egyptian goslings on the Long Water came ashore to eat weeds, safe behind the railings. They are getting quite large.

The brood of eight on the Serpentine is still miraculously intact. It's not clear how the parents are managing to avoid the losses of the other families.

The parents with seven were sensibly staying at the edge of the boat platform, where the goslings can shelter from swooping gulls.

As usual, the Black Swan was closely shadowing her Mute mate.

The Canada Geese nesting in the reeds near the Italian Garden refuse to be shifted by the harassment of the dominant swans.

The Household Cavalry practised a mysterious manoeuvre that involved trumpets and drums.

The Rose Garden is a place for esoteric forms of exercise.


  1. I am officially stumped. Anyone has any idea what that the owner of that pair of legs is doing? Handstands among the roses?

    I suspect Jays know what effect their ability to pose against a fetching background has on food-providing humans.

    It must be a true experience to be followed around by a Blue Tit...

    1. I think it was a particularly extreme kind of yoga.

      When I visited St James's Park a few days ago, as I was leaving I crossed the road. On the other side of the park was a garden with a hedge. A Blue Tit came out on the front of the hedge and literally shouted at me until I had extended my hand with some pine nuts, and although it had never seen me before it instantly came and took one.

      Later I met Mark Williams, who often visits St James's Park. 'Oh, that's Semiramis,' he said. 'She always behaves like that.'

    2. God, I love the name. It suits her imperial character, expecting to be regaled and admired even by unknown persons.

      I wish the moment had been immortalized on camera. I wish I could have seen and heard her shouting for her pine nuts.

    3. She took me completely by surprise. When I next see Mark I'll ask if he has a picture, or if he can get one -- he has a camera.