Monday 7 November 2022

Lovely weather for ducks

Another drizzly day made no difference to a pair of Mallards in the Italian Garden.

But one of the Coal Tits in the Flower Walk was in an uncommonly bad mood, and knocked a Robin three times its weight off a twig.

This Long-Tailed Tit was in exactly the same place behind Peter Pan as I saw the flock yesterday. They don't hunt at random and definitely have their favourite trees.

A Chaffinch stared at point-blank range from a horse chestnut tree near the Kensington Gardens bicycle path. I think that with patience he might be persuaded to come to my hand.

This Pied Wagtail at the Round Pond is the same one I photographed yesterday. He is remarkably bold and ignored several runners thundering around the edge of the pond, then trotted past within inches of my feet.

The Little Owl at the Round Pond has been staying in his hole during the nasty weather, but here is a picture of him taken three days ago by Geoff Hunt, showing him in a horse chestnut tree where fresh leaves grew back after the drought.

After the pigeon-eating gull had finished his lunch and another Lesser Black-Back had eaten most of the remains ...

... finally a Carrion Crow could get in and pick off the last scanty scraps.

One of the young Grey Herons was in a bare tree at the island, perhaps surprised that the leaves it has known all its short life have disappeared.

A Great Crested Grebe was doing absolutely nothing. They are good at this.

The flood in the Dell has subsided, and one of the Moorhens was back on its favourite rock in the stream.

Three Egyptian Geese on the edge of the Serpentine attended to their large complicated wings.

The Mute Swan manoeuvres on the Long Water continue. When I went by the Vista in the morning the male from the Italian Garden was standing on the edge looking belligerent. A few minutes later I saw him and his mate cruising towards the bridge.

But when I passed the same spot two hours afterwards they were nowhere to be seen, and the female of the dominant pair was preening in the shallows at the edge.

This really is a female, despite the large knob on her bill -- ring numbers don't lie -- and she has successfully mothered several broods of cygnets. All the teenage cygnets have now been kicked out to fend for themselves.

The foxes at the Diana fountain have extended their earth, making a terrible mess of the carefully tended lawn.

The drizzle didn't deter some hardy Common Wasps from browsing on fatsia flowers.


  1. The tiny feathers lifted on top of the Chaffinch's head look like tiny brows. It's so funny, and the bird looks so sweet.

    1. They have slightly protruding ear coverts, which are showing in perspective here. See Sunday's blog -- the one before this -- for a side view.