Wednesday 14 December 2022

Two Little Grebes

There were two Little Grebes today. One was in a clear patch in the ice on the edge of the Long Water. I think this was one we've seen here before.

It was exploring the bushes and kept disappearing.

The other was near the outflow of the Serpentine. It probably came here because its home pond was iced up.

It was preening on the edge.

The unfaithful Mute Swan was in the Italian Garden with his new mate.

His old one was sadly alone in another pool.

But he wasn't content with rejecting her. He went over to her pool and started chasing her.

Two Shoveller drakes. displaced from the Long Water by the ice, cruised up the edge of the Serpentine.

A Coot stepped off the edge of the ice.

This is the Black-Headed Gull who owns the landing stage at the Diana fountain. Any other bird gets chased off, and even much larger geese seem to avoid his territory.

The familiar Pied Wagtail at the edge of the Serpentine found a small larva.

The male Little Owl near the Speke obelisk was just visible in the crook of a branch on his nest tree. He blends perfectly into the sweet chestnut tree, with his white spots mimicking the lichen on the bark.

A new Coal Tit has appeared at Mound Gate, in addition to the one already there. Both can be hand fed, though the new one is still nervous.

A male Chaffinch looked out from a bush in the Flower Walk.

A Magpie waited on a fallen tree trunk.

A Jay stared down with its crest raised.

It flew to another branch and preened.


  1. I'm beginning to worry about the rejected female. Her former mate appears to be aggressive against her - what may have caused that strange volteface in him? And she looks so depressed.How likely is it that she may find another mate come Spring? Or that he may come back to his senses?

    1. I don't think he'll come back to his senses. He has found a property-owning widow, not too old (she was much younger than her first mate), proved fertile, and in possession of a nesting island. The young female he had carelessly picked up earlier just gets discarded. Swans are not sentimental, not even kind.

  2. Lovely for you to see the Little Grebe. I'm sure the birds will be relieved when the thaw comes on Sunday-so will I!

    1. And I. Trying to take pictures with frozen fingers is no fun at all.