Monday, 30 January 2023

Starling steals a worm

A Redwing pulled up a worm on the Parade Ground and was about to eat it when it was rudely bumped out of the way by a Starling which ate the worm itself.

A Song Thrush sang in a tree by the Speke obelisk. They often sing in winter on a sunny day, or just because they feel like it.

It wouldn't be a proper day without an imperious stare from the Coal Tit in the Flower Walk.

The aggressive Black-Headed Gull was literally at his post on the landing stage at the Diana fountain ...

... which he had cleared of all rivals.

There were no Cormorants on the Long Water, for the first time since they arrived in the autumn. Five remained at the Serpentine island. These too will probably be gone soon, not returning until the young fish hatched in spring have reached a worthwhile size.

The Little Grebe was diving under the fountain, getting heavily splashed. Any disturbance to the water seems to help with finding small edible creatures.

Then the three Tufted Ducks started diving and the Little Grebe joined them.

The Gadwalls that the Little Grebe used to accompany show no sign of wanting to return. There were five on the Long Water opposite Peter Pan, and some more on the Serpentine.

The dominant Mute Swans had completely cleared the Long Water of rivals and returned to the Italian Garden. They like it here because people feed them more than at the Vista or Peter Pan.

Greylag Geese grazed in the Diana fountain enclosure in the late afternoon light. They are often seen here because dogs are not allowed in; also the grass is of good quality and carefully maintained.

A pair of Egyptian Geese preened on the edge of the Serpentine.

The mahonia bush in the Rose Garden still has enough flowers to attract Buff-Tailed Bumblebees. After these flowers have gone the bees should be able to get by on the hellebores in the flower beds, not their first choice but all right at a pinch.

Tom shot this remarkable video of a Bittern fishing at Fishers Green in the Lee Valley Park.

Ahmet Amerikali was at Russia Dock, which sounds a hopeless place but there is now a nature reserve here called the Woodland. Among other birds he saw a Goldcrest landing on a branch ...

... and got a splendid shot of a Kingfisher and its reflection.


  1. Russia dock? What a strange sort of name for a place in London! (seeing as I type that it means imported Russian timber).
    Poor Redwing. Starlings have such pointy and stabby beaks too.

    1. And for receiving cargoes of 'hard' wheat for making bread, shipped from Taganrog on the Black Sea, I would guess. Old packets of Italian pasta used to have a little notice saying that the wheat was from Taganrog, meaning that it was the finest.