Monday 6 December 2021

It was another dark wet day. A Moorhen poked around in a puddle.

But the Great Crested Grebes were undaunted and have not only built a nest, opposite Peter Pan, but were mating. They don't stand a chance of success at this time, but you have to applaud their spirit.

One of their teenagers was fishing in the darkness under the bridge.

A solitary Pochard drake cruised on the Serpentine ...

... and Gadwalls browsed in the Italian Garden fountains.

A Black-Headed Gull with a Czech ring, ET05.589, was on the edge of the Serpentine. I've reported it but there won't be much history, since it's a first-year bird.

Another gull tried to flirt with it, but it wasn't interested.

There were several Pied Wagtails hunting along the shore.

Some autumn migrant thrushes have finally shown up. Ian Jeffreys found three Mistle Thrushes and two Redwings in the rowan tree on Buck Hill. I wasn't so lucky, but I did get a brief sight of a Redwing before it flew away ...

... and, at a different time, the usual Mistle Thrush, which was alone in the tree and not doing anything except looking around.

A Song Thrush sang, hidden deep in a holly tree so I could only record the sound. They do sometimes sing at the most unlikely times.

A Jay ...

... and a Magpie waited to be fed in a horse chestnut tree.

The younger of the two rabbits grazed on the lawn under the Henry Moore sculpture.


  1. Aren't the Grebes a little early?

    Poor Gull, having its romantic intentions ignored like that.

    Finally more Thrushes! I wonder if our resident bird will take lightly to more company to share its berries with.

    1. Yes, I really don't know what those grebes were thinking about. They should have been getting in a few flight hours in case the lake freezes and they have to move to the upper Thames. The teenagers have been getting plenty of flying practice.

      Ian Jeffreys reported a fight among three Mistle Thrushes. evidently the resident defending its tree against an incoming pair.

  2. Glad you have a small number of Redwings now. I've only seen one in recent days, though haven't birded the last 2 days for one reason or another.

    I wonder whether that the mating of the grebes isn't just a pair bonding behaviour rather than a serious attempt to get the next generation off? Often see this with Mallard, though they do occasionally have unseasonal broods which probably have higher mortality than normal.

    1. It looks from today's sighting that the grebes just happened on a Coot nest and took advantage of it. Normally before mating they need to build a nest, and even the sloppy job that grebes do takes a day or more and mating is not a casual act.

  3. Will be interesting to see what happens next though sadly failure is almost inevitable.

    1. The grebes were back at the nest today, For their sake and the Coots' I do hope both of them abandon this foolish attempt.