Friday 3 March 2023

Blackbird's tug of war

I was filming a Green Woodpecker looking for insects in the grass under the Henry Moore sculpture when a Song Thrush came out of the bushes behind it.

A Blackbird in the Rose Garden strained to pull up a worm.

Success. After he had eaten the worm he came out to take some raisins.

The Redwings in Kensington Gardens were between the Round Pond and the Speke obelisk.

There were also Goldfinches near the obelisk, and you could hear twittering everywhere.

A lot more Redwings on the Parade Ground were making a considerable noise.

A female Chaffinch appeared in the bushes below the Triangle car park, not a place I've seen one before.

In the Flower Walk Great Tits gathered in the paperbush ...

... and a Coal Tit followed me all the way from Queen's Gate halfway to the Round Pond.

Two Pied Wagtails foraged on the shore near the Lido. They weren't a pair, both were female.

A Grey Heron stood on the handrail of the steps leading up to the bridge and looked around for a rat in the bushes. It took no notice when I walked up the steps and passed by two feet away.

Another caught a perch in the Dell.

The Great crested Grebes who abandoned their nest on the Long Water are now building another on the far side.

I think they were evicted from the previous nest by a Coot which wanted the site. Grebes can beat Coots in a fight, but usually the Coots win by sheer persistence.

The Little Grebe in the Italian Garden rested peacefully under the deluge from the fountain. It must enjoy it, but heaven knows why. 

There are still a few Shovellers on the Long Water, though you only get occasional glimpses of them.

More spring flowers. Squill coming up at Mount Gate.


  1. It doesn't get said too much, but aren't Song Thrushes marvellously pretty. The colours may be subdued, but the patterning and the arrangement of colour are so beautiful. I don't think I've seen so many Redwings together ever, btw. They are some of my favourite birds - it must be heavently hearing and seeing so many of them,
    Maybe the Little Grebe thinks the fountain shower is a spa?

    1. Yes, I'm also particularly fond of Song Thrushes, and not just for their beautiful song. I wish we had more of them, and indeed all thrushes.

      But there is absolutely no shortage of Redwings all over and around London. The most I have seen together is over 200, once in Westbourne Park a few miles to the west of here, and once on a cricket pitch in Chelsea, deserted because cricket is a summer game.

      The Little Grebe must think something like that. But if so, it's the kind of spa where they throw bathfuls of water over you from a great height..