Saturday 11 February 2023

Hints of spring

A pair of Long-Tailed Tits darted about in a tangle of bushes beside the Long Water. There was an alder sapling growing through the bushes, and I think they may have been eating the seeds at a time when insects are scarce.

On the other side of the lake a male Blackbird ...

... pursued his mate through the trees.

The Coal Tit behind the Albert Memorial came out to be fed ...

... and a Chaffinch stared hungrily from a bush in the Flower Walk.

The Redwings on the Parade Ground had been scared into the trees by runners gathering around the bandstand.

The Dell is a mass of snowdrops. A Magpie wandered through them.

Aconites are coming up at Mount Gate.

Rose-Ringed Parakeets browsed on blossom in a cherry tree in the North Flower Walk. They chew each to get a few drops of sweet nectar, then spit it. In this way a few parakeets can devastate a tree.

Another sign of approaching spring: two pairs of Black-Headed Gulls were flirting beside the Serpentine and on the edge of a fountain in the Italian Garden.

Two Grey Heron nests on the island were occupied for the second day running.

The Little Grebe was alone in the Italian Garden diving under the fountain. Although it gets on well with the Mallards and Tufted Ducks, they don't actually seek it out in the way that the Gadwalls did.

A squirrel went through a flower bed in the Rose Garden looking for bulbs it could dig up and eat. They seem quite choosy about which bulbs they consume. Possibly some are poisonous, and the squirrels can identify these by smell.


  1. Black-Headed gulls' sounds are always so goofy and comical. I bet it sounds enticing to their little gull ears, but the effect it quite different to human ones!
    It must be still very cold, considering the perfect rotundness of the Chaffinch.

    1. Black-Headed Gulls in love are most endearing. Even Herring Gulls manage to look sweet when they moan fondly at each other.

      It wasn't all that cold today. That's an absolutely frontal view of the Chaffinch, so it looks very round.