Friday 24 November 2023

A cold wind

A chilly day with a keen wind kept the Little Owl at the Round Pond from even showing her face in the hole till well into the afternoon. By this time the sun is shining directly into your face when you look at the tree, so it's hard to get much of a picture.

The area is now absolutely packed with Jackdaws. Here are two on a horse chestnut ...

... and three on the sawn-off top of the dead tree. The whole population that used to live next to the leaf yard seem to have moved up to the pond.

They're even beginning to crowd out the ubiquitous Magpies. This one was farther down the Vista.

The bold Robin on the sign at the corner of the leaf yard has become a regular customer just two days after I first saw it.

A Pied Wagtail picked its way through fallen leaves washed up on the edge at the Lido.

One of the Feral Pigeons in the crowd at the Triangle car park has very delicate grey and white markings.

A Rose-Ringed Parakeet was eating the 'strawberries' on an arbutus tree in the Dell.

Two good pictures from Ahmet Amerikali: a Long-Tailed Tit going round the Long Water ...

... and a Cormorant catching a carp at the bridge.

With no humans braving the wind at the Lido restaurant terrace, the young Grey Heron that hangs around there was fishing in the reed bed. I've never seen it catch anything here, but a heron's life consists mostly of waiting punctuated by an occasional quick grab.

The youngest Great Crested Grebe from the island is now spending much of its time alone and trying to fish, though I'm sure its parents are still feeding it.

A small dog quickly regretted going into the water after the killer Mute Swan and his family.

Even without any rivals in sight, the Egyptian Geese at the Round Pond find it necessary to make a racket.

A female Tufted Duck at Peter Pan shone finely in the sunlight.

There were lots of Pochards in groups all over the Long Water. It looks as if more have arrived to swell the already healthy number.

I went to photograph the statues of the late Queen and Prince Philip on the Albert Hall. I should have gone earlier. because in the afternoon one is in partial sunlight and the other in shadow. Possibly the one of the Queen looks more like her when evenly lit.

Prince Philip looks as if he's bored with standing in a niche and is off for a walk.


  1. Hi Ralph,great pic if the cormorant catching a carp....I see exactly what you mean about the Sony instruction manuals !!!!...a very lucky escape for the little dog !!.regards,Stephen.

    1. That cyprinid looks more like a roach than a carp to me - and a pretty decent one too!

    2. I wouldn't be in the least surprised. There are certainly roach in the lake. The wire baskets at the bridge have in the past been a hatchery for perch, but things seem to have changed this year.

  2. I really like the statues. The Queen looks regal, and Prince Philip just looks like himself!
    I wonder how the Little Owl spends her day in her tree hole. I suppose she must doze most of the day off.

    1. So many carnivorous birds -- and mammals -- seem to pass most of their time utterly inactive. They show no sign of being bored. Maybe the are meditating on Higher Things, but actually I think they are in an unreflective daze from which they can be roused only by a shock.

  3. I visited the park late in the afternoon after St James, there is something special about Hyde Park indeed. For me it has to be the sheer number of different species of bird that can hold up here, and how close you can get to interact with them and study their behaviour.

    The Grey Heron has tremendous patience and skill when it comes to hunting fish! I wonder if they also rely on their feet for vibrations to judge striking distances etc in the water.. Mostly the fine tuned sense of sight movement.

  4. Hi Ralph, where's the best place to try for a Jay in autumnal leaves? I love that shot you got in the oak leaves! Kind Regards, Ben

    1. I see them all over Kensington Gardens, but that's because I feed them. If you don't it's harder. Probably the best place is the South Flower Walk.

    2. Thank you. I will try that! Happy to feed them!