Tuesday 19 September 2023

Windy day

It was a very windy day with occasional drizzle. Not surprisingly the Little Owls at the Serpentine Gallery were not to be seen, and had probably gone into one of the two hollow chestnut trees. But the owls at the Round Pond sometimes look out of their hole even in the roughest weather, and sure enough there was the female.

The Flower Walk is sheltered by tall trees, and a Blue Tit could perch on a twig undisturbed.

The Robin at the Queen's Gate crossing was looking impatient ...

... because I had to feed a Jay first to get it out of the way.

Another Robin bathed in a puddle.

A Magpie at the Lido restaurant had no intention of swimming but showed every sign of wanting a peanut.

With no one on the restaurant terraces the Starlings had no scraps to grab, so they were looking for insects in the grass and picking up grit from the path. Even on a dull day their plumage looks splendid.

The pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull was also looking very fine against a background of dead leaves. He is beginning to get the grey-streaked head of his winter plumage,

He had trouble with two Carrion Crows and a Herring Gull trying to take his latest meal.

The two Great Crested Grebe chicks from the first nest on the Serpentine island are now as large as their parents and have well developed black crests. They're still being fed, but it can only be a couple of weeks before they're expected to fend for themselves.

It's a surprise to find that they're older than the grebe chicks from the bridge, whose crests are only just forming. They stayed hidden behind the baskets surrounding the island for a long time and didn't come into view until we's been watching the Long Water families for several weeks.

A Moorhen on the edge of the Serpentine got caught in a tailwind ...

... but the Italian Garden is well sheltered and the chicks were in calm water.

This Mute Swan in the Italian Garden isn't the female we've been seeing recently. As you can see from the large knob on the bill he's male.

Tom was at Rainham Marshes, and sent fine pictures of a Kingfisher in the rain ...

... and a young Hobby. You can see it's young because it doesn't have the reddish 'underpants' of an adult. The wader behind it is a Ruff.


  1. What an incredible picture of a hobby...is a canon Eos camera worth buying ?..regards,Stephen.

    1. Taken from the Purfleet hide, I think by the look of the background. Tom has very quick reactions that put my performance to shame.

      I'm not the person to ask about Canon cameras, as I have had Pentax and Sony during my serious photographing career. I would look up as many web reviews as I could find in the hope of working out a genuine assessment on average. But one thing I can say: they're expensive for what you get.

    2. Thanks for the advice.i had an old Pentax mz7 film camera, which was quite good.....regards,Stephen.

  2. Are the pigeons approaching the gruesome gull scene actually inquisitive, or were they feeding as if nothing had happened?

    Also what's the ringed bird behind the Hobby, Spotted Redshank? Jim

    1. Pigeons seem remarkably calm around one of their number being eaten. Perhaps they're thinking 'Tisn't me, ha ha. Or not thinking at all.

      I was wondering about that bird behind the Hobby. Common Redshanks are more common than Spotted at Rainham. But it's not focused enough for a certain identification.

    2. Later: Tom told me it's a Ruff.

    3. I realised 'Spot-shank' was unlikely after a little digging and thought Ruff but was confused by the dark stripe down the neck. Is it a marking or the shadow of something out of shot? As it seems too long and even to be the shadow of a Ruff's bill, not that a Tringa bill would really fit either. Jim

    4. It looks as if the sun was out, if a little hazily, when that picture was taken. So I would think that mark was a shadow.

  3. Gosh, surprised to see the serial killer getting harassed. Crows have attitude!

    1. It's a bird-eat-bird world out there at the restaurant where humans chomp on smashed bits of cow.