Tuesday 26 September 2023

The Huntress Fountain is working again

The pair of Peregrines were on the Knightsbridge Barracks. The male is on the left. He only looked over the edge occasionally, and it looked as if he was eating a pigeon farther back on the ledge.

The pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull had had as much of his as he wanted, and was standing on the edge of the lake ...

... tolerantly allowing a young Herring Gull to finish the remains.

A pair of Magpies perched in a hawthorn tree. Hawthorns are particularly popular with all insect-eating birds, and must contain more bugs than other trees.

The usual Robin in the Flower Walk was waiting in the pyracantha bush. He flew down and took four pine nuts from my hand.

The male Little Owl at the Round Pond was in his favourite horse chestnut tree ...

... and the male at the Serpentine Gallery was in the usual lime.

The number of Cormorants continues to rise, and they were on the posts all the way round the Serpentine island.

A Cormorant at Peter Pan shone in the sunlight. Their feathers have a greasy look which is misleading, as actually they get wetted more than those of most water birds, which is why they have to dry their wings after diving.

One of the four young Moorhens in the Italian Garden was checking a tuft of grass to see if there were any insects in it.

The ten Great Crested Grebe chicks are at their loudest and the lake resounds with their squeaks as they endlessly pester their patient parents. This is one of the three from the nest at the bridge.

Two of the four from the other nest on the Long Water were under a tree with a Pochard and a Tufted Duck. I met Bill Haines yesterday as he was doing his monthly bird count. He mentioned that, although there are plenty of Pochards, the number of Tufted Ducks has gone down severely. We have no idea why or where they have gone. Pochards are Red listed, so anyway it's good to see that numbers are staying up here.

A pair of Shovellers rested on the gravel strip in the Long Water. The drake is well advanced into his bright breeding plumage.

The Black Swan was reflected in the water of the Round Pond.

A fox looked out from behind a fern on the slope in the Dell. It's quite a young one. Probably there is a whole family here again after the park management's pointless attack on the previous residents.

The Huntress Fountain in the Rose Garden is finally working again today. It was originally referred to as the Diana Fountain, as the figure on top is of Diana, goddess of hunting, but now that name is used for the drain-like structure commemorating the dead princess. This fountain has nothing to do with her, and has been in the park for over a century. It was originally made for the garden of Sir Walter Palmer's house Frognal at Ascot in 1899, but was presented to Hyde Park by Lady Jean Palmer in 1906. The sculptor was Lady Feodora Gleichen, the first female member of the Royal British Society of Sculptors. The Art Nouveau style of the fountain is unusual in London, being much more of a French and German thing. There is another Diana fountain in Bushy Park, not to mention others in Madrid, Barcelona and Mexico City. She is a popular goddess.


  1. With such a large colony of Cormorants all in one place feeding, do they ever fight amongst themselves and compete for food or territory posts etc? I myself have never seen two Cormorants interact in any way at all and normally just solitary with their daily activities.
    Sean :)

  2. Yup, Fuente de Diana Cazadora or Fuente de la Cruz Verde in Madrid. it's not as beautiful, but it's handsome enough. Although my favourite goddess statue in Madrid is this one:
    An art deco-style statue of Athene, standing on the roof of the Círculo de Bellas Artes.

    1. A very fine statue, and good to have Athena supervising things and maybe bringing a bit of wisdom to people's hearts. But the helmet with the long tail would be a bore for her to wear.