Monday, 10 January 2022

There are still some Redwings on Buck Hill, though I don't know what they are finding to eat. The long grass is unpromising territory for digging up worms.

They are, however, spreading out, and Neil photographed one in a holly tree near the bridge, where I have never seen a Redwing. As you can see, all the berries have long gone.

Neil also shot this interesting slow-motion video of a Jay taking peanuts from his hand on Buck Hill.

The Little Owl was mostly hidden in the leaves of the squirrel drey, and even when the ambulance helicopter landed in front of her she didn't move a feather.

A Blue Tit probed a dry husk on a tree near the leaf yard.

Another fine picture from Neil: a Coal Tit in a winter flowering cherry near the Albert Memorial.

As I was going round the back of the Lido a Long-Tailed Tit landed on a twig right in front of me, and there was just time for one hasty shot.

A Robin sang on the top of the corkscrew hazel bush in the Flower Walk.

There was a Peregrine on the Royal Lancaster Hotel.

More Black-Headed Gulls are getting their breeding plumage.

A third Grey Heron nest is now occupied on the Serpentine island. It's quite low down at the west end.

To go with yesterday's video of Coots preening, here is a short clip of one washing in the Serpentine.

The two pairs of Mute Swans in the Italian Garden and on the Long Water were having another faceoff.

When swans take off, often a gull goes along with them to watch the enormous splashy spectacle.

Greylag Geese drank from a puddle near the Dell restaurant. As always, there was one on the lookout for dogs and other dangers.

Alberto was here, disentangling threads wrapped round the legs of Feral Pigeons. Although we have a Wildlife Officer again, he remains devoted to the welfare of the park wildlife. This entanglement was from a shop's tag for a garment. He said that he often had to remove women's hair extensions that had fallen out and got wrapped round pigeons' legs.

A very large husky seen on Buck Hill made me wonder when a wolf last stood on this spot. It's claimed that the last wolf of England lived in the Southern Fells in the Lake District and was killed on Humphrey Head in the 14th century by John Harrington of Wraysholme Tower. Wolves survived in Scotland until 1630-50, despite legends about the last one being killed in 1743.


  1. Wolves are coming back strongly in north-western Spain - they are growing in numbers so much small cattle breeders are beginning to get worried.

    I wonder if the gull would wish to be a swan. It reminds me of the guard of Coots that followed the Black Swan around a couple of years ago.

    1. Wolves are also being reintroduced in the western Alps in France and Italy. Farmers are worried there too. Farmers are always worried.

  2. Sadly as an island it is much harder for wolves to come back here.
    I would love for it to happen though.
    In the UK there would have to be lots of wolves for them to be more of a problem than irresponsible dog owners.

    1. Both the Spanish and the Alpine populations are deliberate reintroductions in the teeth of local opposition.