Friday 2 December 2022

The female swan causes trouble

This Great Spotted Woodpecker is often seen near the Speke memorial. You can tell she's female because males have a red patch on the back of the head.

The day before yesterday someone (I don't know who) saw two Little Owls here. We hadn't been sure that there was still a pair. But I haven't had any luck seeing either these owls or the one at the Round Pond for several days.

A Jackdaw perched on the fallen top of the owls' nest tree at the Round Pond, expecting a peanut.

A Magpie ...

... and a Jay were also looking hopeful.

Of course they always get one, though sometimes their persistence gets a bit much and I have had to stop feeding most of the Carrion Crows as there are simply too many of them.

But the Coal Tits ...

... and Blue Tits in the Flower Walk always get their demands met...  

.... as does a growing mob of Great Tits. There must be about 30 of them here now.

The Blackbird at the Lido has found a new sloe bush with plenty of fruit left. But he was perched at the back chipping resentfully ...

... because a squirrel had barged in.

The young male Blackbird from the family in the Dell was foraging at the edge of Rotten Row.

A Pied Wagtail trotted across the terrace of the Dell restaurant, ignoring the humans lumbering around. They can take off so fast that there is absolutely no danger of being trodden on.

Finding nothing, it flew up the Serpentine to search for insects and larvae in the dead leaves washed up at the edge.

This young Grey Heron has taken to hanging around the Lido restaurant. It lunged for a fish and missed, but really it wasn't there for the fishing, it was hoping someone would throw it a bit of cake.

A young Herring Gull played with a stone it had fished up out of the lake.

A Common Gull stood on a sign. Their dark eyes give them a kindly appearance, but they are just as ruthless as any other gull.

The Mute Swan drama continues. Today the widow of the dominant swan had flown into the Italian Garden and was standing between the male (on the right) and his mate. It's impossible to tell at this stage whether she intends to poach the male from his recently acquired mate, or whether she was just feeling miserable and wanted to make trouble.

The low sunlight brought up the brilliant green iridescence on the head of a Mallard drake in one of the pools.


  1. Lovely photo of the male Blackbird amidst the sloes. A bird I see much less of than I used to. A day's birding now rarely produces more than 2 or 3 of them.

    At Ruislip Lido on Saturday for an LNHS walk, one of the Black-headed Gulls on the beach had a full dark hood.

    1. This comment appeared in the wrong post, easy enough to do.

      Blackbirds are pretty rare with us too. The population in Kensington
      Gardens crashed by worse than 90 per cent between a survey conducted in the 1960s and one in 2011, and there has been no recovery since. Indeed, two places where there had been Blackbirds after the second survey now seem to have lost them. However, this pair at the Lido are new, and from the fact that it is a pair I hopefully guess that they are residents rather than migrants.

  2. Conehead54, please see my reply to your comment which mistakenly appeared on Friday's post.