Sunday 11 December 2022


It was a freezing day, with rime on the cobwebs between the railings.

A Coal Tit in the Flower Walk perched on the frosted corkscrew hazel bush. It seemed to be doing well enough, since it was holding a tiny larva, but it still came down for several pine nuts.

Two Jays emerged lower in the bush.

Two Robins beside the Long Water were fluffed up to the max against the cold.

A Magpie perched on a stump in front of an icy gorse bush.

This Carrion Crow with white wings was in the Rose Garden.

There seem to be fewer crows with bleached wings now. This may be because in their former territory in the northwest corner of the park they were next to the cheap restaurants of Queensway and had an unhealthy diet consisting almost entirely of junk food. Now they have spread out through the park and their diet is a bit wilder and more normal.

When I came round to the back of the dead tree near the Round Pond, I was astonished to find the Little Owl staring at me at point blank range from the back entrance. The owl looked amazed too, but he knows me and stayed to be photographed.

A Herring Gull beside the Serpentine pecked at the ice, slipped on it, and fell through. It's a second-year bird so it's probably seen ice before.

Just you, me and a dead pigeon. The affectionate Herring Gull pair on the Serpentine had a romantic moment. The pigeon was provided by the usual Lesser Black-Back and I think it must have been his second of the day, as he had only picked at it and seemed content to leave it for others to eat.

A Black-Headed Gull in the Italian Garden was happy enough with a bit of cake it had won from the snack bar.

Almost all the Cormorants have left. This was the last one on the tree on the Serpentine island, and there was just one other on the Long Water.

A Coot walked back and forth across the frozen lake looking for food.

The unfaithful Mute Swan and his new mate were in a clear patch in the ice on the Long Water. They were all right, as there were reeds to eat.

The male swan cleared a path through the ice by jumping on the edge to break it.

The Black Swan on the Round Pond poked at a bit of ice. Perhaps he has a dim ancestral memory of the summer heat on the Perth River in December.


  1. Icebreaking swans are such awesome sights to behond. One gets the true measure of their power and stubbornness.

    it feels cold even across the computer screen! The picture of the frost clingling to spider webs like so many tiny jewels is magnificent.

    1. Now it's snowing, though it may not lie and we shall probably have the usual London grey mess.

  2. Wintry scenes. Snow has certainly settled in my garden overnight but I'm out in the suburbs. Hope to do my WeBS today along the Thames if conditions & a functioning tube allow me to. Would expect more birds that have moved from frozen lakes.

    1. Hope you didn't freeze doing the count. Always difficult in cold weather as you can't wear gloves. I have some fingerless ones but they aren't warm enough for the conditions.

    2. I didn't feel cold Ralph. I think the lack of wind in this recent cold snap has been a big help, but I do manage with gloves though.

    3. I do. Envious of those who don't.

  3. The gull seems to make a good recovery though, although he doesn't look too happy about the situation (neither was I yesterday...and ongoing)

    1. I always enjoy seeing gulls losing their footing. With their silly little feet they do this quite a lot.