Saturday, 15 January 2022

It's unusual to hear a Blackbird singing in January. This one was singing quietly to itself on the edge of the Rose Garden.

On the ground below two Carrion Crows had found an ants' nest and were enthusiastically digging out the ants ...

... and a Wood Pigeon ate an apple it had found.

A Green Woodpecker was looking for insects and worms in the grass on Buck Hill.

Disturbed by a dog, it flew into a tree and started preening.

The female Kestrel was in a nearby tree, but didn't like being approached and flew away.

A Goldcrest flitted about in a yew tree in the Flower Walk ...

... and a Robin found a small larva on the path.

Long-Tailed Tits waited till the flock had all arrived before crossing the gap at the Vista.

Redwings were digging up worms on the fenced-off area of new turf near the Albert Memorial where the enormous 'Van Gogh Alive' spectacle had been. (I have news for the organisers: he isn't.)

There was a bit of ice on the Long Water but it was melting fast. Black-Headed Gulls stood on it.

A young Herring Gull on the Serpentine had found a mysterious orange thing to play with.

Another preferred the more traditional toy of a large stick.

The pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull ...

... and his mate were on the roof of the Dell restaurant. We haven't seen much of her lately.

A Great Crested Grebe on the Long Water guarded a nest to stop Coots from taking it. From the fairly solid nature of the nest, it looks as if a Coot had built it.

A Coot was making a nest on the Mute Swans' island. Even in midwinter they can't stop building ...

... or fighting.


  1. I had missed Coots' traditional activities. Glad to see some things never change.

    I think the Grebe has chosen a wise course of action: to outsource nest building to Coots, and then to take the nest for itself when Coots aren't looking.

    Very happy to hear the year's first Blackbird song. Our local Blackbird is calling nonstop in the dead of night, but isn't singing yet.

    1. No doubt the war between Coots and Great Crested Grebes has been going on for longer than the existence of the human race.

      I suppose that Blackbird is performing what is technically called 'subsong'. Perhaps he's practising his phrases for when he starts properly in spring.