Monday 13 March 2023

Nimble Grey Wagtail

A Grey Wagtail stepped quickly over a carpet of floating leaves on the Serpentine. If it had stopped it would have fallen through.

The Redwings were again coming right down to the fence on the Parade Ground. If you move slowly you can get within ten feet of one.

A Blackbird near the Dell had a moment of anticipation before eating a worm it had just pulled up.

A male Chaffinch at the back of the Albert Memorial waited for a pine nut to be thrown into the air for him to catch. I'm sure they enjoy showing off their flying skill.

A Carrion Crow which had been bathing in a planter in the Italian Garden shook itself dry on a rail.

A Dunnock stared from the bushes beside the steps at the bridge.

The Grey Heron that perches here and has an injured right eye seems to be improving. It's still blinking a lot but there's no sign of inflammation. I think it may have scratched its cornea when lunging for something.

A Black-Headed Gull beside the Serpentine hovered in the strong wind, keeping an eye on someone who was throwing bits of bread.

A young one in the Italian Garden was playing with a bit of soggy tissue.

The Little Grebe wasn't doing anything new, but it's always a pleasure to see it diving away.

The dominant pair of Mute Swans on the Long Water are showing the first signs of wanting to nest on the artificial island that was built for their use (though only the female survives from the original pair it was made for).

The strong wind over the Serpentine encouraged another pair to take to the air.

The Round Pond, an exposed place, was lashed by the wind. Black-Headed Gulls searched for small water creatures washed up on the shore. A Coot had a bumpy ride on the waves. Even the Egyptian Geese lying low on the grass were getting ruffled.

Virginia filmed workmen making a gravel bank here. The idea is to make a safe place for birds, away from foxes and the dogs that irresponsible owners let loose around the pond. The fence on the shore side should provide some protection against swimming to the bank.

A pair of Egyptians claimed a tree near the Serpentine Gallery. I've seen them examining a possible nest hole in a tree just the other side of the building.

The water filter at the outflow of the Serpentine had got blocked again, and Hydro Cleansing had been called to clear it out. It's always interesting to look at the apocalyptic paintings on their lorries. I suppose the idea of having the Terminator is that they end blockages, but it's kind of them to warn cyclists about him.

However, my favourite painting is 'The Wrath of Poseidon', which I photographed in some detail a bit over a year ago -- see here. No doubt the perpetually angry sea god also presides over drains, and blocks those of people who disrespect him.


  1. If I had an outflow blockade I'd call Hydro Cleansing just to see what they had painted in their lorries this time!
    Poor Heron must have been in pain. Birds are so stoic an undemostrative one is tempted to feel they feel pain to a lesser degreen than mammals. On the other hand I wish that was true, though.

    1. Hydro Cleansing have two classically themed lorries. The other one has the Hydra, and you can see a picture of part of it on their web site. I haven't seen it myself yet, but the water filter in the park gets blocked quite often and the Hydra's turn will come.

      I'm told by people who have had a scratched cornea that it is absolutely maddening. But at least the heron is blinking less and looking more, and it seems almost certain that it will be all right soon.