Sunday, 23 January 2022

The Winter Wasteland funfair has at last been taken down and the wall around it has gone, exposing a vast area of desolation, which is fenced off to be returfed. Birds are already returning to this safe area. Here is the first Redwing to arrive ...

... with some Long-Tailed Tits and some Goldfinches twittering in the treetops.

A Great Spotted Woodpecker climbed about in a tree on the edge of the Wasteland. You can hear Goldfinches in the surrounding trees.

A Pied Wagtail ran over the bare ground and heaps of earth, looking for insects and small worms. The sound in the background is a flock of Starlings doing the same.

Starlings gathered in the trees and flew down to look for insects and worms on the ruined grass.

At the bridge, a Great Tit ate a pine nut I had given it.

A Carrion Crow searched for food under the trees near the Dell ...

... where a pair of Egyptian Geese were grazing.

The Egyptians didn't like this.

A Grey Heron and a Cormorant managed to share the fallen horse chestnut tree in the Long Water without a fight breaking out.

Another heron posed on an urn in the Italian Garden. When they do this, visitors often think they're artificial ornaments.

A pair at the island displayed on their nest.

The dominant Black-Headed Gull at the Diana fountain landing stage stared aggressively at the camera.

One of the teenage Great Crested Grebes finished preening and had a flap to settle its wings.

A pair of Gadwalls cruised briskly up the Serpentine with their eyes shut. They must have had them open on the other side.


  1. One eye shut means that half of the brain is asleep, doesn't it? I think I read ducks can sleep with only one half of their brain shut down.

    I am getting the impression that there are more Goldfinches now?

    Tut tut. Very disappointed in the Crow beating a hasty retreat like that. Although the prospect of having a facedown with an angry Egyptian is doubtless daunting.

    1. Yes, birds sleep on one side at a time. That's how Swifts avoid crashing when they sleep: they gain altitude and glide down as they snooze. I think that when the left side of the brain sleeps the right eye remains open, because the nerves from the eyes to the visual cortex cross on their path, but the nature of the crossing is more complex than a simple X and I'm not sure.

      No, still not many Goldfinches. It was a small flock of perhaps half a dozen. They make a mighty twittering and you think there are more.

  2. I wonder how many days the Winter Wasteland earns for out of the total number of day of working. Considering the number of wonderful free/cheap attractions it is amazing how popular it is.
    It is certainly not cheap - about £4 for a small cup of hot chocolate - and this was a few years ago.

    1. This year you couldn't even get in free to be ripped off by the prices. You had to pay several pounds, and also prove that you had been given the poison jab the requisite number of times. No thanks.

  3. This morning 10.15 Buck Hill opposite playground flock of redwing on ground with blackbirds, male chaffinch, goldfinch

    1. Thank you, noted. I went up there after reading your comment, but they'd gone by then.