Friday 10 March 2023

A closer view of the Redwings

The workmen laying new turf were at the far end of the Parade Ground and the shy Redwings felt confident enough to come right down to the fence ...

... where they dashed about in their energetic way.

A male Pied Wagtail trotted along the edge of the Serpentine ...

... constantly tweeting.

It was cold and there was a keen wind blowing over the Round Pond. The female Little Owl was well down in her hole, but one yellow eye looked out suspiciously.

A pair of Jackdaws perched in a sweet chestnut near the leaf yard. These battered 332-year-old trees are full of holes ideal for a Jackdaw nest.

A Blue Tit looked out from a deodar behind the Albert Memorial ...

,.. and a Coal Tit perched among sprouting leaves.

A Robin on a bramble was lit by a shaft of sunlight.

The aggressive Black-Headed Gull was patrolling the landing stage which he regards as his and his alone.

Unlike the noisy Black-Headed Gulls, the Common Gulls in the park are a fairly silent lot except when they are screaming in an aerial competition for a bit of food. Here two exchange calls -- not exactly a display but it's clear that they are a pair.

A pair of Great Crested Grebes displayed under the bridge ...

... and the Little Grebe was busy as usual in the Italian Garden. It's getting increasingly annoyed by photographers and now surfaces on the far side of the planters, so you have to take it by surprise. I hate to bother it, but we have to have pictures of this charming creature.

A Moorhen was looking very relaxed on the edge of the Serpentine.

The dominant Mute Swan pair were in the Italian Garden.

They might seem to be uninterested in their bespoke nesting island, but some white feathers shed by preening tell a different story.

One of the few remaining Cormorants perched here, but in Battersea Park it's a different story, with 105 reported on its much smaller lake yesterday on the London Bird Club Wiki. Clearly it's something to do with the availability of fish.


  1. 105 cormorants all together. Fish massacre (doesn't it sound like a film title?).
    I wonder why the Wagtail was tweeting so often. It looks a bit agitated as well.
    The Little Grebe will surely forgive us as soon as it learns how much we enjoy and admire its pictures.

    1. There was another Pied Wagtail some way along the shore. It was another male, and it was silent except while flying, which always makes them call. Not sure that this influenced the one I filmed.

      I don't think the Little Grebe reads this blog.

    2. It ought to!

    3. I've always felt that the old Blackberry mobile phone, with its almost unusably tiny QWERTY keyboard, was designed by birds for birds to use. It's even named after a Blackbird's favourite snack.

  2. Regarding the Battersea Park Cormorant count- that was a roost figure, so presumably most birds are fishing on the Thames & possibly could include the Long Water birds? Certainly not all fishing in Battersea Park.

    Delightful shots of the charismatic Redwings & love the Jackdaws by their nesting cavity.

  3. We've only got about ten Cormorants, and they still seem to be fishing here. No roosting as far as I know. Battersea Park is handily next to the river, of course.

  4. One day this week when the weather was so bad that there were no birds anywhere near the landing stage I noticed that the Black-Headed Gull had nipped into the fountain enclosure and was performing a rather vigorous worm dance. Ever vigilant though, he was just beyond the railings where he could keep an eye on the landing stage and chase off any interloper. Joe

    1. There can't be much food around the Black-Headed Gull's territory, perhaps a few scraps of snacks dropped by Diana gawkers. So he must have to charm up quite a lot of worms to keep him going.