Monday 31 January 2022

Grey Wagtails are larger and less athletic than Pied Wagtails, but they still have a fair turn of speed.

There were more Redwings on the Parade Ground, perhaps 20 but it was hard to tell as some were in the trees. If you stand still they will come quite close.

One found a worm and quickly swallowed it before hopping off to find more.

A female Blackbird was also looking for worms inside a bush in the Rose Garden.

There are Greenfinches in the holly trees at the southwest corner of the bridge, but they seldom come out and allow themselves to be photographed.

A female Great Spotted Woodpecker in a treetop near the Italian Garden spread her wings ...

... and flew away.

Carrion Crows ate a very decayed fish on the edge of the Serpentine. They aren't fussy about freshness.

The platform at Bluebird Boats was a solid mass of gulls. The resident Moorhens refuse to be ousted.

A Black-Headed Gull at the Vista had an orange plastic ring, 2V09. I haven't seen it before but it was ringed by Bill Haines, probably here.

A Great Crested Grebe preened under the dead willow near the Italian Garden.

The older of the two rabbits was out by the Henry Moore sculpture, but it was looking worried with its ears laid back.

Zoom out of the scene and you can see why. Grey Herons can't swallow rabbits, but they have been known to attack them just as they pointlessly spear fish too large to eat.

Rats, on the other hand, make a tasty snack. This picture was taken by Tom at Wanstead Flats a couple of years ago.

Sunday 30 January 2022

On the Parade Ground, a dozen Redwings chattered in a tree. There wasn't a good view of any of them, so this clip is about the sound they make.

One caught a worm on the ground.

We haven't had any Fieldfares yet, but Tom was at Rainham Marshes and got an excellent picture of one.

A Carrion Crow looked under dead leaves in the churned mud.

A Robin flitted around a bench in the Rose Garden.

In the leaf yard a female Chaffinch fidgeted in a yew tree and flew away.

Starlings foraged in the rough grass until something scared them and they flew off together in an instant.

One of the Coal Tits in the Flower Walk looked out from the pink hazel catkins.

This is the Grey Heron nest on the island which may be active, though I'm far from sure.

Another heron flapped to keep its balance on a thin twig.

The Black-Headed Gull on the landing stage had cleared off all the other birds and was looking pleased with himself.

When one gull starts washing, the others do too.

Coots fought on the Long Water.

A Tufted drake dived at Peter Pan.

Another fine picture from Tom at Rainham Marshes: a pair of Pintails in flight.

The aggressive Mute Swan at the west end of the Serpentine was being his usual bullying self.

The sunshine dimly lit one of the large pike under the edge of the Italian Garden.

Saturday 29 January 2022

It was a milder day with sunny intervals and there were a lot of weekend visitors in the park. But they hadn't driven away the Coal Tits in the Flower Walk.

A Great Tit perched in the yellow stems of a dogwood bush.

The Flower Walk is next to the Albert Memorial with the great bulk of the Albert Hall across the Road. This picture by Neil of a Chaffinch shows the view.

I could only see one Redwing on the Parade Ground. They can be hard to find when they're in the trees.

A Magpie looked down from a tree near the Queen's Temple.

A Carrion Crow stared from a Paper Bark Maple in the Dell.

A Grey Wagtail ran up the edge of the Serpentine.

A single Common Gull stood in the middle of a row of Black-Headed Gulls on the buoys at the Lido.

The pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull enjoyed his lunch.

The wind increased. A Grey Heron stood on the Henry Moore sculpture in a streamlined pose to avoid being blown off.

I thought the Cormorants had fished out the lake and were leaving, but at least six more arrived today, perhaps driven inland by the wind. Three were fishing in the Long Water under the edge of the Italian Garden.

A Cormorant balanced on a thin branch at the island.

Moorhens bounced about in the choppy little waves at the Dell restaurant.

Shovellers, Tufted Ducks, Pochards and Gadwalls cruised opposite the Vista.

A pair of Gadwalls fed at the edge of the Serpentine.

Friday 28 January 2022

A Redwing perched in a tree on the Parade Ground ...

... while another pulled up a worm. There were at least ten here today, and also some in a treetop in Kensington Gardens.

On the barrier around the Wasteland site, a Robin looked down at its mate ...

... which was doing a display holding a feather, clearly an invitation to start nesting.

Everything seems to be happening early this year, though we still have February to get through. Crocuses are coming up beside the Long Water.

A Nuthatch appeared on a dead tree near the leaf yard, the first I've seen for a while. Perhaps my efforts to attract small birds back to this parakeet-devastated area by keeping a feeder filled are beginning to succeed. The feeder has certainly attracted a lot of tits and some Chaffinches.

A Great Tit ate some pine kernels that it took from my hand.

A Coal Tit perched among pink hazel catkins in the Flower Walk.

Long-Tailed Tits flew along the edge of the Long Water.

Starlings were having a mass bathing session in the Serpentine.

Five Jays near the Italian Garden came to take peanuts. Word is spreading.

An interestingly marked Feral Pigeon near the Triangle car park.

Oddly, this is the second young Herring Gull I've seen in two days playing with an AA battery. The first one was on the other side of the lake, so it's a different battery and probably a different gull. Young gulls love toys that roll.

Two adult Herring Gulls have got the pure white heads of their breeding plumage ...

... and the pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Back is almost there.

I saw a Yellow-Legged Gull halfway between Bluebird Boats and the Dell restaurant, but it flew away before I could raise the camera and I couldn't find it again. They are quite rare visitors to the park and I hadn't seen one for several years.

A male Great Crested Grebe was looking smart in his new breeding plumage.

A large Pike could be seen from the parapet of the Italian Garden. There are at least four big ones in the Long Water, as well as plenty of smaller ones which we have seen being caught by Cormorants.

Thursday 27 January 2022

A small flock of Redwings hunted worms in the mud on the Parade Ground.

They were finding a lot.

A Great Tit happily ignored gravity and walked down a tree trunk head first. Like Nuthatches and Treecreepers, they look for insects in cracks in the bark.

A Long-Tailed Tit was also looking for insects in a tree on Buck Hill.

And there are insects to be had even in midwinter. I was taking a routine picture of a rabbit and found I had accidentally captured a swarm of midges.

Beside the leaf yard something edible was getting the close attention of a group of Carrion Crows and a squirrel. They were too busy to fight. Maybe there was an ants' nest, but do squirrels eat ants?

The Little Owl was back in the old squirrel drey at the top of Buck Hill. Again, she was almost hidden, but it was good to know that she was there.

It looks as if there is a sitting Grey Heron in one of the nests on the island. A couple of weeks ago Paul saw a heron settling down in this nest, and today you could just see the top of a head above the twigs.

Black-Headed Gulls and a Common Gull squabbled over a morsel of food.

The aggressive Black-Headed Gull on the landing stage was annoyed to find Canada Geese on his territory, but they were too big to chase off.

A Cormorant stood on the platform at Bluebird Boats. It fishes under the edge of the platform where fish lurk in the shadows.

The Mute Swans in the Italian Garden used the spray from the fountain to wet their feathers and make them easy to preen.

Often the Pochards on the Long Water are impossible to see, but today they had come out in the open.

A group bustled around a Black-Headed Gull.

The late afternoon sun lit up the gilding on the Albert Memorial. I am very fond of this absurd structure. A friend is writing a book about it which promises to be the definitive work on the subject.