Thursday 22 December 2022

Dunnock in the Rose Garden

A Dunnock called insistently from a rose bush in the Rose Garden.

The corkscrew hazel bush in the Flower Walk, used as a perch by all kinds of small birds, had a male Chaffinch and a Great Tit in it just far enough apart to avoid conflict.

The Little Owl at the Round Pond seems to have settled down in his hole for the winter. It's good to know he's there but a satisfactory picture is impossible.

Visits to either of the owl trees are now attended by many Magpies and Jackdaws eager to be fed.

The Pied Wagtail beside the Serpentine found a small white larva at the Lido ...

... where three Common Gulls stood on the plastic buoys.

The Black-Headed Gull at the landing stage surveyed his territory from the top of the Big Bird statue, ready to dive on any intruder.

Our regular Polish Black-Headed Gull T4UN is beginning to get his black head. It's quite a long process, and a picture of him that I took on 5 February this year shows him still with some white feathers on his head.

The Grey Herons' nest on the island was busy. One bird had just flown out to fetch twigs and the other was preening.

A third was standing on the edge of one of the baskets put up to encourage herons to nest. This was not properly fixed and has come adrift on one side, so it's hanging vertically and no use at all. Herons prefer to make their own nests anyway.

I couldn't find the Little Grebe in the Italian Garden for some time, and was just going away when it popped up obligingly. They are very good at lurking unseen.

There were several Moorhens in the pool. One climbed on a clump of irises.

The two teenagers at the Vista are still with their parents.

The rejected female swan was on the gravel strip again, on the left in this picture, but has now been joined by a female friend (if swans have friends). I hope the company brings her some comfort.

Black Swans can walk quite gracefully, unlike the bigger Mute Swans which have an awkward waddle.

I haven't seen this Canada x Greylag Goose hybrid before. It has yellowish feet. These hybrids are always as large as their Canada parent but their markings are very variable, and their feet can be almost any colour -- pink, yellow, grey or black.


  1. The Little Grebe knows we love him, and thus it bountifully graces us with its presence.
    I wonder if there is something more to the Black Swan's agility than its relative smaller size. Are their legs set at the same angle? It walks more like a goose than a swan, I think.

    1. Perhaps the Black Swan's legs are a shade longer in proportion to its body than a Mute Swan's, but the geometry is the same. I think it's just a matter of less weight on them.

  2. I hope that little grebe stay until I come back. I am away for Christmas until next year. Hope it waits for me..

    1. It seems to be perfectly happy in the fountain pool.