Monday 13 December 2021

It's surprising how often when photographing a Pied Wagtail you catch it with an insect or a larva. There was a pair at the small boathouses.

This is a longer video than I usually make, but it's pleasing to see the little bird sprucing up his feathers.

A pair of Great Spotted Woodpeckers had a quiet moment on a tree near the leaf yard. You can't spend your whole life banging your head against a tree.

The bold Coal Tit in the Flower Walk came down to be fed.

I also fed one in the bushes near the bridge which I hadn't seen for some time. This Coal Tit, a female, is now several years old. They have been known to live to 12, which was discovered when a venerable Coal Tit with a ring finally fell off the twig.

There was also a Blue Tit on the corkscrew hazel in the Flower Walk ...

... and a hungry Jay, one of five I met today.

A Wood Pigeon struggled to keep its balance as it reached for some ivy berries.

A Carrion Crow enjoyed a brisk wash in the Serpentine.

A Blackbird hopped around under a bush at the Lido.

A Song Thrush sang near the leaf yard ...

... and the usual Mistle Thrush was in the rowan on Buck Hill. Note the clear difference in the pattern of their spots.

A few yards away the beautiful Little Owl looked down gravely from the same tree as she was in yesterday.

The pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull expressed his feelings after missing a pigeon.

Black-Headed Gull EZ73323 has reclaimed his favourite perch from the Czech gull that occupied it.

The Diana fountain is closed for its annual maintenance and becomes a playground for gulls instead of children.

There were two Grey Herons in the nest on the island. I still don't think they're going to get around to breeding any time soon.

Gadwalls are peaceful ducks, but occasionally a rival drake has to be seen off.


  1. Quite impressive, a small creature like a Coal Tit having such longevity. The shouting LBB makes me think of this year's chick, born on top of my house- wondering what happened to it. I look up everytime I hear them.

    1. You have an LBB nest on your house? I'm sure they've started nesting in inner London just like the Paddington Herring Gulls, because the proportion of young ones has increased, but I don't know where.

    2. Yes, 2nd year running, EC1. Last year there were 2 chicks , but they vanished after the parents had a run-in with a pair of Magpies. This year 1 chick, and it grew big enough , to my eye, to withstand Magpie attack. Also suddenly gone; maybe it just flew off with parents? It had been flapping/stretching its wings, but I did not see any actual flying attempts. Have seen the odd juvenile flying above, but am of course not sure if that was our individual.

    3. That echoes the experience of friends in Paddington, though theirs were Herring Gulls. The disappearance of the parents and chicks also followed a run-in with a couple of Magpies. I reassured them that Magpies would be no match for the big gulls and the chicks were ready to fledge anyway, so the departure was probably nothing to do with the Magpies. It looks like I could be wrong.

    4. Definitely think the 2 chicks last year perished. The one this year was big enough, so I'm hoping for the best. (we didn't observe any Magpie fights, but you never know)

    5. oh , and last year the parents were still around for a few days after the fight, and appeared to be pecking at something. This year the whole family disappeared .

  2. The Wagtail's elaborate toilette reminds me so much of my lamented canary bird. He would come out from his bath, spruce up his feathers, jump again into his bath, and then arrange his feathers, mostly his tail feathers, meticulously. He would also make a curious sound while vibrating his wings. I never knew why he did that.

    That was the Methuselah of Coal Tits! I am amazed that such a little bird should have so long a lifetime.

    1. The Wagtail went in and out of the water several times. I arrived in mid-session so even in that quite long clip you only see part of the process.