Thursday 19 January 2023

Dawn at the Round Pond

People gathered to watch the dawn over the Round Pond. Thanks to David Lacey for this fine picture.

A male Great Spotted Woodpecker near the leaf yard attacked a dead branch vigorously, sending bits flying.

A short way along the path towards the Italian Garden a female could be seen in a treetop.

A Robin hopped around in the bushes below.

We had a Firecrest in Greenwich Park yesterday, and what should turn up today but another one in Southwark Park? Thanks to Ahmet Amerikali for this picture. Several more have been reported in various places in London in recent days on the London Bird Club Wiki.

He also found a Goldcrest in the same place.

An interesting picture from David Element: a Goldfinch eating frost off a fence, perhaps to save it a short flight to the nearest bit of open water a few yards away, or maybe it enjoyed it as you would an ice lolly (though hardly in this weather).

The Little Grebe was in the Italian Garden as usual with its new friends the Gadwalls.

It went to fish under the fountain in the Italian Garden, and they decided to join it. Probably the disturbance to the water is good for bringing up small edible creatures for all of them.

David Element was wondering about this odd symbiotic arrangement, and sent a beautiful picture of a Kingfisher which was taking advantage of the fish scared away by a wading Little Egret. Of course, that was a one-sided arrangement, unless perhaps the Kingfisher's dive frightened the fish back towards the egret. They were disturbed by a dog before he could get a shot of them in the same frame.

Back to the Italian Garden: there were two Cormorants in the pools having a go at the few remaining fish. Ahmet got a picture of one with a small carp a couple of days ago.

Today one decided to take on one of the large carp, which I'm sure are too big for even a Cormorant to swallow. After struggle the fish got away with superficial injuries.

The dominant Mute Swan pair are hanging on at the Vista in spite of the encroaching ice. Food from visitors is an attraction.

The Egyptian Goose pair from the Henry Moore sculpture are still on the west side of the Long Water. They were at Peter Pan looking a bit bemused by the ice. Maybe they have been driven off their normal patch by the fox which Mike Meilack photographed just up the hill on the 12th.


  1. What a splendid dawn picture. Even the swans appear to be admiring the view.
    Maybe there are more Goldcrests that we believe at any given time. Sometimes I think we must be missing on 90% of the fun where birds are concerned.

    1. Since we have not had a long winter freeze for some years the park is bouncing with Goldcrests. But you really only notice in spring when they're singing.

  2. That Firecrest reminds both of a Wren and a Nuthatch, even more so some foreign varieties of the last. Interesting just to discover that the closest British relatives of the kinglets, according to current thinking, are indeed the Wren, Nuthatch and Treecreeper. Jim

    1. Incidentally, the last Firecrest I saw was by happenstance outside a front door in north London, and I initially did mistake it for a wren. Jim

    2. It's good to have a picture of a Goldcrest next to the Firecrest for comparison. The thing you really notice is the black eye stripe. The Firecrest photograph has very strong contrast, but that is less noticeable in the field and it's the stripe that clinches it.

  3. I can no longer hear goldcrest so I have to rely on a sighting. Makes it a bit harder.

    1. I've been lucky and can still hear them at 73. I attribute this to avoiding pop concerts like the plague.