Monday 23 January 2023

Cold and grey

A cold grey morning. Carrion Crows gathered in a tree at the leaf yard, probably planning some dreadful exploit.

A pair of Jackdaws nattered peacefully to each other in a chestnut tree.

A Buff-Tailed Bumblebee managed to be busy at 2°C on winter daphne flowers in Sarah L. Joiner's Bayswater garden. What tough little creatures they are.

A pair of Egyptian Geese looked wistfully at the statue group of Africa on the Albert Memorial, no doubt wishing they were home.

A Coal Tit came out in a wintersweet bush in the Flower Walk.

A Wren bustled around on the path below. It was only when I got home and looked at the picture that I realised it had found some crumbs.

Not surprisingly the Little Owls were staying indoors. But yesterday, when I met Joe Downing at the tree near the Speke obelisk and we both got pictures of the male owl on a branch, he also managed to photograph the female looking out of their nest hole.

He sent another fine picture of a Moorhen on a chain at the bridge.

Black-Headed Gulls looked for food on the frozen Long Water, not finding much. Then someone threw some seeds on to the ice and they crowded in.

Beware of snowflakes! One might land on your head, and then where would you be?

A pair of Great Crested Grebes, sensing the end of the freezing weather, have returned to the lake and were under the willow next to the bridge.

The Little Grebe in the Italian Garden fountain tried cooperating with the Mallards, and then with a Tufted Duck which didn't work out at all because their styles are too similar. In the end it went back to the Gadwalls, a familiar and comfortable relationship.

The dominant Mute Swans remain in the fountain pools. The male ate some frost off the kerb.

Joan Chatterley reports from St James's Park that the Pelicans have been shut up for fear of their catching bird flu. But one of them can fly, and has eluded attempts to catch it.

Devotion to a dog: flowers on Harvey's memorial bench near the Italian Garden 23 years after his death.


  1. What is the story of Harvey? It sounds promising.
    The Little Grebe situation had been nagging at my memory and I finally remembered where I had seen it before. A handful of Little Grebes mingling with Gadwalls and Shovellers in a pond in Trujillo in wintertime. At the time I didn't pay much heed to it, but I remember the Little Grebes were diving constantly in the vicinity of the ducks. Maybe it was a similar case of collaboration.

    1. Afraid I don't know anything about Harvey. It's just another commemorative park bench. Few have heard of the dedicatees, though there's one for the actor Alan Rickman in the Flower Walk sadly recording one of his less intelligent remarks. on which I've already commented.

      Very interesting about the Little Grebes. No one else has told me of seeing anything like it.

  2. In these cold frosty days quite heartening to see the bumblebee on the Daphne.

    Lovely shot of the Wren-glad it found some crumbs. Hope not too many have succumbed in the freeze. I'm not detecting as many but they may just be staying quiet to conserve energy.

    1. We haven't had any long freeze-ups, which are what really do for the Wrens and Goldcrests. Over the past few years with a few short frosty spells numbers of both seem to have been increasing, at least in the park.