Tuesday 12 October 2021

The little area at the southwest corner of the bridge has become the best place to see small and medium-sized birds since the parakeet feeders ruined the leaf yard. Great Tits, Blue Tits, Chaffinches, Greenfinches and Goldcrests have all nested here this year.

A Great Tit preened on a branch, and another flew away. Both are female, as shown by the narrowness of the black stripe down their front.

A Great Spotted Woodpecker climbed the next tree.

The Feral Pigeons' favourite branch on the holly tree was taken by a pair of Carrion Crows.

A Hornet rested on a bramble leaf.

On the Long Water, one of the two young Great Crested Grebe chicks had a faceoff with a Coot.

There were four species on the tern raft: a Cormorant, a Moorhen, a Lesser Black-Backed Gull and a Black-Headed Gull. (But I have never seen a tern on it.)

The dead willow near the Italian Garden is another popular perch, today for a Gadwall drake ...

... and a pair of Mallards.

The ring of gravel around the new pond-dipping pool has become a favourite place for foxes to enjoy the sunshine.

On the Serpentine, a pair of Greylag Geese washed and flapped in unison.

A flock of Greylags arrived last week and there are now at least 130, most of them on the south shore of the Serpentine, here seen with a few Egyptians.

Allowing a dog to harass wildlife is not only stupid and callously cruel but an offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. People have been arrested and fined several hundred pounds.

The pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull was in his favourite place on the Dell restaurant roof, preening his immaculate feathers. He now has the grey-streaked head of his winter plumage.

A Buff-Tailed Bumblebee explored the pretty blue flowers of Bog Sage at the back of the Lido.

A Common Carder bee browsed on lavender in the Rose Garden.

A horse chestnut tree near the Serpentine Gallery (fortunately not the Little Owls' tree) fell in a not very strong wind a few days ago. The wood is completely rotten on one side of the trunk.

Perhaps the bracket fungus on the still standing part of the trunk caused the rot.


  1. Can the dog video be sent to the wildlife officer? Or who would be in charge of enforcing the act? I ordinarily hate snitches, but I think this would not be snitching, but rather teaching a lesson.

    I love how undaunted the young Grebe looks, even if Coots are naturally fearsome. Perhaps to a Grebe's point of view Coots are comical creatures.

    I wonder if female Great Tits have different temperaments compared to males. I read once that Great Tits have noticeably different and individual temperaments, more so than other small birds.

    1. I don't think anything can be done about a dog attack without a sympathetic police officer actually on the scene -- and, now that Steve has retired, there is only one other person whose heart is in this business.

      I have first-hand experience of the individual personalities of Great Tits from feeding them -- bold, shy, demanding, hesitant. The males' song is also unusually varied, another sign of their diversity.

  2. Wonderful Gadwall shot.

    So frustrating seeing the lack of any attempt to control the dog.

    1. I do like Gadwall drakes. They are like old gentlemen in well cut country tweed suits.

      All I can do with irresponsible dog people is shame them publicly. I have tried confrontation again and again, but their minds are closed. I have no hesitation about publishing their silly faces, as they have been filmed in the commission of a crime and that removes their right to privacy.

  3. A good stance, Ralph. Sadly they're probably too ignorant to change their ways-something only a fine might change!

    1. The police driving past in their cars must see this time and time again, if they're looking out at all. But they don't want the paperwork.