Wednesday 25 January 2023

Grey day

A dismal dark drizzly day in the Italian Garden. Water in the air, water on the ground, water in the background and a couple of stone nymphs making sure it stayed that way. One Black-Headed Gull didn't mind, it had seen it all before.

At least the Little Grebe was there to grace the scene.

This unremarkable picture of the posts at Peter Pan includes all four kinds of gull commonly found in the park: Black-Headed, Common, Lesser Black-Backed and Herring Gull.

The ice on the Long Water is melting fast now, and Mute Swans have again invaded the gravel bank. The dominant pair were still in the Italian Garden, but now they can come down and clear off the intruders any time they like.

Swans often get driven ashore by their rivals and have difficulty returning to the water. This one had wandered along behind the railings and was far from the lake, separated by impenetrable brambles. Luckily it had the presence of mind to go back the way it came. Often they don't and have to be rescued.

Only two Cormorants were left today. They were with a Grey Heron on the nesting island.

The young Moorhen at the Vista that was ringed by Bill Haines is now getting its adult red bill.

A picture from Joan Chatterley taken yesterday in Regent's Park, where the ice seems to taken hold more thoroughly than it did here.

She also sent an interesting picture of a Greenfinch perfectly camouflaged against the bark of a beech tree.

A Jackdaw looked down expectantly from the weeping beech behind the Albert Memorial.

The small birds in the Flower Walk were undeterred by the drizzle and as hungry as ever. A Coal Tit ...

... several Blue Tits ...

... and a Robin followed Neil and me along the path ...

... and a Chaffinch came out at Mount Gate as I was going home.

South of the park in Queen's Gate Mews a Great Tit looked for insects under the flaking bark of a birch tree. You can hear a Goldfinch singing in the treetop ...

... though it was too high for a good picture. They are often heard on the television aerials of the houses in Queen's Gate, much more often than in the park itself.


  1. What do they do? Sit and sulk until someone notices and rescues them?
    I hope the wet pavement wasn't an impediment for your back and neck.

    1. Sometimes that's just what they do. But if they sulk too long in a place they can't fly out of, they become a fox's dinner.

  2. I admire your persistence in such weather. I am so jealous about the little grebe. I have managed to get this close to one only once. It involved a lot of stalking and dolphin diving, thankfully nobody witnessed it. Regards, Arpad

    1. Still there today, completely unworried by photographers. A few years ago there was an equally confident LG in Regent's Park, on the fake canal that leads out of the south end of the lake. You could stand on the edge and watch it nipping around inches from your toes.