Saturday 6 November 2021

A dark day with only an occasional sunny moment. Starlings drank from a puddle.

A Great Tit came out on the holly tree near the bridge waiting to be fed.

As the light faded even more in the afternoon, a Blue Tit perched on a hawthorn.

A Pied Wagtail approached up the edge of the Serpentine, looking for insects in the debris.

A Carrion Crow stared from the Huntress fountain in the Rose Garden.

A Grey Heron kept a lookout from a lamp post near the bridge.

Although Hyde Park is lit by gas lamps, the dangerous zigzag over the bridge needs modern lighting. Even so, crashes are frequent as cars go straight on at the bend.

Cormorants at the island refused to let another have a place.

A Cormorant perched amid Black-Headed Gulls on the fallen poplar in the Long Water.

On the other side, Black-Headed Gulls hovered to catch food.

They may be all too familiar, but they are beautiful and graceful birds.

A Great Crested Grebe fished under the bridge.

After yesterday's three female Teal, there was a drake on the gravel bank on the Long Water.

It makes you dizzy just looking at this Shoveller drake revolving.

Veteran cars gathered for the London to Brighton run, which starts from Hyde Park tomorrow morning. I don't know what the first one is, but the twin side-mounted radiators of the red car show it to be a Renault. An advanced design for 1903, it has a proper back axle with a differential rather than the chain drive with dog clutches usual at the time. Update: Abigail has identified the first car as a 1902 De Dion-Bouton.


  1. Poor Cormorant. There was chain space to spare for everyone (I am astounded how they manage to perch on the chain like that, with their awkward webbed feet).

    I have to confess that I lasted all of five seconds before I began to turn dizzy. It's all the Shoveller's fault!

    I never tire of watching seagulls fly or hearing them cry. Not making the Legolas quote again, though!

    1. I think the Cormorant in the water was a very low ranking one, despised by the others who congratulated each other snobbishly after it had gone.

      Shovellers must have a special inner ear adaptation that allows them to spin without getting giddy. There are other revolving birds, such as phalaropes.

    2. I wonder how they decide who is low-ranking and who isn't. I guess disputes and fights will make that clear enough to all concerned, but still it looks cruel.

    3. Having an established hierarchy reduces fighting to a minimum. You have to fight to move up the ladder, but not to fight all the time.

  2. The other car is a 1902 De Dion Bouton - for the full entry list, see here: The French dominated early car development. Motorsport is still regulated by the FIA (Federation Internationale de L'Automobile).

    1. Thank you. By the way, my family had a 1910 Renault -- before I was born, obviously. There's a picture of it here in a slightly fictionalised review. Technical details are carefully researched.