Friday 11 November 2022

Unseasonal flowers

One of the Coal Tits in the Flower Walk perched among some unseasonal blossom.

A Chaffinch was lower down in the same bush.

There were a lot of Pied Wagtails both at the Round Pond and beside the Serpentine. This was one of several hunting near the Triangle car park.

Another pair ran around farther along the Serpentine, calling to each other. The female is the lighter coloured one.

A Carrion Crow perched disrespectfully on the statue of Queen Victoria at Kensington Palace. This statue was made by the Queen's daughter Princess Caroline and shows her mother wearing what Daisy Ashford called 'a small but costly crown'. It is now badly weathered and she has been given a new and rather ill-fitting nose and some replacement fingers. It's a pity the restorers stuck her thumb on backwards.

Black-Headed Gulls at the Round Pond included our regular Polish visitor T8YT ...

... and a British-ringed gull 2V30. I've seen three other orange 2V rings here and I think they must have been put on by Bill Haines, but this series is not listed on the colour ring recording web site

A young Cormorant at Peter Pan just managed to jump on to a post and had a good flap. Often they miss their footing and fall off.

A preening Great Crested Grebe made that typical grebe shrug and rush that they do to settle their feathers.

The Coot nest on the wire basket at the bridge has almost vanished, but the Coot family continue to claim the spot.

The dominant female Mute Swan on the Long Water was standing on her nesting island, but if her mate is gone her vigil is in vain.

The pair in the Italian Garden were together with the resident Egyptian Geese.

But the male swan always bullies the Egyptians, and when I went back later they had retreated to the urns at the other end.

Here is the text of Virginia's email to Tom Jarvis, the Director of the Royal Parks, followed by his extremely disappointing reply. The park management simply don't care about the wildlife.

A few late bees are clinging on. There was a Honeybee on a patch of baby sage in the Rose Garden ...

... and a Buff-Tailed Bumblebee on the lavender.

Snowdrops are coming up on the scrubby ground at the east end of the Serpentine. I think these November blooms are not the common snowdrop Galanthus nivalis but the early-flowering species G. reginae-olgae, named after the Russian-born Queen Olga of Greece, whose turbulent life included her husband King George I being assassinated in 1913 and having a narrow escape from Russia after the 1917 revolution.

Stubble Rosegill mushrooms are coming up near the Italian Garden.


  1. Royal Parks are dishing out the same copy & paste robotic disinterested response. The volunteers don't even want their staff to get their hands dirty. They just want empty spaces available where the sick or dying birds you either die or recover in peace and away from infecting other birds. Only pressure from the public might make a difference .

    1. Indeed. Jarvis's email address is given at the end of his letter.

  2. Tom and his staff are sending the same pre-prepared response to everyone so it is guaranteed you will get the same reply from either him or public relations. He is unwilling to go round the lake and see the situation for what it is. They are more concerned about Winter Wonderland visitors and shocked public seeing dead and sick birds ( worrying about more phone calls and pressure I bet ). These birds don't make them money so why care? Just let them die we have too many....

    1. A few hundred disapproving emails might, just might, make a difference.

  3. I haven't received a response yet (too soon for it), but no doubt it will be the same tripe. Never trust someone who uses the word "resilient" unironically.

    Dear God, it's true that they put the thumb backwards!

    1. Someone on the park volunteers' WhatsApp group got an even more obtuse boilerplate response, missing the point entirely, from someone calling himself the 'Customer Services Administrator'.

      Possibly the thumb was put on with a metal rod to keep it in place, and has revolved.