Sunday 18 December 2022

Thawing soggily

It was a nasty dark wet cold day but at least it's not freezing any more. The Herring Gulls could go back to doing the worm dance on the thawed ground.

But there's still a lot of ice on the lake. The pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull stood on it, looking for a chance on the shore.

The Black-Headed Gull EZ73323 wasn't going to let a bit of rain make him leave his post.

The Little Owl at the Round Pond sheltered from the drizzle at the back of his hole.

The owl at the Speke obelisk was not surprisingly staying indoors, but the usual Great Tits came out to be fed ...

... and today were joined by a Blue Tit which looked out expectantly from a bramble patch.

The corkscrew hazel in the Flower Walk, a rendezvous for all the small birds, had a slightly damp Coal Tit ...

... and a Robin on the topmost twigs.

A Goldcrest at Mound Gate was actually singing. I got one hasty shot before it vanished into the bushes.

A Feral Pigeon stood on a fallen branch, a more comfortable place than the cold wet tarmac.

A Magpie waited on an urn in the Italian Garden ...

... where the Little Grebe was busily diving in one of the pools.

The new pair of Mute Swans were looking very affectionate (but we know he married her for her property).

On this dismal day there was really nothing worth filming, so here's a clip from a few days ago of a pair of Egyptian Geese on the Serpentine washing and preening side by side ...

... and another of a pair of Mallards preening on the fallen willow tree by the Italian Garden. You can hear the fountains in the background.


  1. The ice has been a pain but it’s been interesting watching the home-coming geese at the Round Pond and the Serpentine. Like circling aeroplanes they’ve had to make several circuits, each one lower than the previous, to identify and home in on a place to land, made even more challenging by the number of wildfowl crowded into the available spaces. I may have imagined this but, also like aeroplanes, they appear to lose speed as they lose height, thereby making it easier to drop onto the target. Very impressive manoeuvring all round. Joseph

    1. Geese can lose both speed and altitude when coming in by sideslipping. Interesting to watch.

  2. What a nasty dreary day. Thank God the Little Owl and the small birds were there to cheer it up a bit.

    Let's see how the new girlfriend reacts if she realizes he's only after her property.

    1. I have a nasty feeling hat swans are like the United States: they have no friends, only areas of influence.

    2. All empires, and great kings, are like that...

    3. Heraldic swans are often depicted with a crown round their neck.