Sunday 6 November 2022

Green Woodpecker at the Palace

When the morning rain stopped for a while, a Green Woodpecker came out on the grass below Kensington Palace.

The male Chaffinch I photographed yesterday was in the border picking seeds out of a patch of phlomis.

A Pied Wagtail found a small larva in a puddle beside the Round Pond.

A Robin looked out from the corkscrew hazel bush in the Flower Walk.

A flock of Long-Tailed Tits passed Peter Pan.

A Black-Headed Gull perched on the dead willow at the Italian Garden in front of the kite trapped in the branches of another tree.

There was a heavy rainstorm in the afternoon. A Carrion Crow at the Dell restaurant looked miserable.

When it stopped, the pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull returned to his meal, from which the downpour had driven him off.

If a centimetre of rain falls, this temporarily raises the level of the lake by that amount. The area of the Long Water and Serpentine together is 16 hectares. If I have got my sums right, there is now 1600 tonnes of extra water on the lake, all of which has to flow over the weir at the east end to restore the normal level. This causes the little stream in the Dell to overflow its banks. Here is a Moorhen standing on the edge of the flood.

All the Great Crested Grebes on the Serpentine have now separated into pairs. Two were displaying on the Serpentine.

Suddenly one got up ...

... rushed away as only a grebe can ...

... and settled into the 'cat' posture, while its mate looked on admiringly.

Today there were fewer casualties from avian flu. Is it too much to hope that the worst of the outbreak is over?

The dominant Mute Swan on the Long Water was obliged to share his private island with a Cormorant, of which there about 60 on the lake at present.

The raft on the Long Water is getting overcrowded.

Later I saw the dominant swan having a face-off with the male from the Italian Garden, on the edge of the lake at the Vista. The Italian Garden swan was standing his ground while the other chased off a pair of harmless Mallards to show how tough he was.

A pair of Gadwalls fed peacefully in the fountains.

A Grey Squirrel in the Rose Garden ate a walnut that someone had given it, grinding down the shell with its razor-sharp teeth.


  1. Poor soggy thing. The misery is plainly seen on its face.

    I am admiring that perfectly executed cat pose, and I'm not even a Grebe!

    The dominant Swan looks a bit miffed. Perhaps a calming preening session will soothe its ruffled feathers, literally and metaphorically.

    1. The Italian Garden swan looks as if it has won for now in this ruthless territorial game.

  2. Greek Woodpecker? I dare say you would say Ὃ γέγραφα γέγραφα. As always a pleasure to tune in. Jim

    1. No, that's what the woodpecker says. Pontius Pilate has been repeatedly reincarnated as one for 1989 years.