Sunday 19 December 2021

The Mistle Thrush from the rowan tree on Buck Hill perched grumpily in a tree and preened to comfort itself, because a Carrion Crow and a Magpie had occupied its tree and were eating the fruit.

The male Little Owl was calling loudly but was very hard to see, as it had retreated deep into the dead leaves of the squirrel drey. This picture was taken from directly underneath.

It had gone in because there were several crows in the top of the tree. I don't think they knew the owl was there, or they would have started persecuting it.

There was a Peregrine on the northeast corner of the Royal Lancaster Hotel, just outside the park opposite the Italian Garden. This is the male of the pair, a rather dark bird. The female has been seen here too.

Long-Tailed Tits passed by the Italian Garden.

A Blackbird stared from a twig.

A Jay near the Rose Garden expected to be fed. I haven't had any dealings with Jays in Hyde Park before, but word gets around.

A Grey Wagtail ran along the edge of the lake at the Dell restaurant. Wagtails like restaurant terraces because spilt food attracts insects.

A Cormorant on a thin branch looked up as another landed on the branch above.

A pair of Great Crested Grebes exchanged greetings on the Serpentine.

A Mute Swan ate reeds, taking a drink between each mouthful to wash the tough stuff down.

A female Tufted Duck with an unusually large white patch on its forehead. Ducks like this are often mistaken for female Scaups.

The allotment in Kensington Gardens has a fine collection of poultry of various breeds.

Festive mania has gripped the population despite the best efforts of the government to create universal misery. In Kensington Gardens there was a rally of people with dachshunds dressed in Santa outfits, a spectacle so hideous that I couldn't bear to photograph it. More cheerfully, a bunch of bikers thundered up to the Triangle car park. A learned onlooker told me that the central figure is dressed as the Grinch.


  1. It's funny that the frustrated Mistle Thrush should engage in the same self-soothing ritual my canary bird did when he couldn't get to bite us. He would preen in an anxious, distracted manner and then bite his leg ring. Misplaced aggresion, i'd say.

    What a fine collection of chickens! I wish I could get some.

    Were the dachshunds actually dressed as Santa?!

    1. I was thinking that the Mistle Thrush was behaving like a cat. Preening to soothe nerves seems to be widespread.

      Yes, I'm sorry to say that the dachshunds were really wearing little red and white suits, some with matching hats. The worst one had dummy arms hanging down at the front, making it into a tiny stumpy centaur.

  2. Forgive me, this is for Tinuviel: