Saturday, 22 January 2022

Robins are singing and chasing each other everywhere, still excited by the false dawn of spring although the weather is now much colder. Two were having a song duel in the Rose Garden ...

... and this one was pursuing a possible mate in a bush at the foot of Buck Hill.

This is our local female Kestrel in a tree higher up the hill.

A frosty morning brought out the Coal Tits in the Flower Walk ...

... and here is Neil's picture of the confident Blue Tit that will come to your hand.

There is another bold Blue Tit at the bridge, but I haven't got a picture of it yet.

One of the Grey Wagtails was hunting in the Italian Garden.

The other was looking for insects among the washed-up debris on the edge of the Dell restaurant terrace. Mute Swans preen here, so a lot of white feathers are lying about.

Rose-Ringed Parakeets clustered in a treetop at the leaf yard, ridiculously visible in the bare branches where they are so well hidden in summer.

The fenced-off areas here, soon to be returned to public use, is a complete bog at the lower end. I don't know what the park people intend to do about this, or indeed whether they have noticed. In the meantime it's a place for a Carrion Crow to explore the mud.

A Grey Heron stalked along the brambles at the edge of the Long Water, a hunting ground that offers the chance of a fish in the water or a rat on the land.

The Black-Headed Gull with Bill Haines's ring EZ73323 stubbornly kept his place on the notice beside the Serpentine.

A young Cormorant, still with a whitish front, flapped its wings steadily to dry them on the little swan island in the Long Water.

Two pairs of Great Crested Grebes disputed territories at the Serpentine island. This happens every year and eventually an invisible frontier is agreed on halfway along the island.

Both the rabbits were out beside the Henry Moore statue. Someone on my YouTube channel commented that more should be introduced so that they can start breeding again, but where do you get wild rabbits?


  1. We live in hope that tawny owls will once again give good views. It was the hope of seeing a tawny owl that brought me to the park many years ago. I did see it eventually in the roost of the cut off tree before it was felled as a danger to people!! My first two birds when I walked in were green woodpecker and treecreeper. I thought this is good and made a point of visiting anytime I was in London. 5/6 years since I've been but thanks to your blog I'm always in the loop.

    1. I've heard a Tawny Owl calling from fairly near that tree several times since it fell down (it collapsed by itself, incidentally). This area is halfway between two known Tawny territories, so I can't say which pair it was. Still hoping to find one, and of course the moment I do it will be reported here.

  2. Crossing my fingers to get a Tawny!

    Aren't there any wild rabbits in outskirts parks? Maybe they could be loaned.

    I wonder how Grebes know so precisely where the invisible line is. I guess they must use landscape marks as signposts or something like that.

    1. There are lots of rabbits in Richmond Park. But how do you borrow a rabbit?

      I'm sure that the grebes know every waterside bush and submerged root as well as you know your own front door.

    2. For a moment I had a fleeting vision of a wildlife officer ringing in a bar-coded rabbit!

    3. Do you get fined for not returning your rabbit on time?