Thursday 2 November 2023

Autumn leaves

A Blackbird poked around in the dead leaves in the Rose Garden shrubbery looking for worms.

He got one.

The Robin in the Flower Walk was as furious as ever.

A Magpie waited in the red leaves of the Pin Oak at the Vista ...

... and a Carrion Crow was framed by the bright yellow leaves of a Black Walnut near the Rose Garden.

A crow looked up from the drinking fountain at Mount Gate. I looked up too but couldn't see what it saw.

Maybe it was one of the Peregrines passing high overhead. I found the female on the tower as it started to rain hard. She looked damp and miserable.

It was also windy. The Little Owl at the Round Pond was saying indoors.

The pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull had finished his lunch and was preening his immaculate feathers.

The Black-Headed Gull who owns the landing stage is getting the dark head of his breeding plumage -- very early as he doesn't need it till the spring, but the timing of gulls is highly variable.

Cormorants dried their wings in the wind at the Serpentine island.

A Grey Heron stood over three more on the fallen poplar at the Vista.

One flew into a pool in the Italian Garden and checked the rough water under the fountain, where fish lurk because the disturbance brings up edible creatures.

One of the young Moorhens climbed on to the spray head and investigated the algae.

Two of the others -- there are still four -- looked for food among the water lilies.

The male Great Crested Grebe of the pair at the bridge still has most of his summer plumage, though his mate is now completely monochrome.

Greylag Geese flew up the Serpentine.


  1. Hi Ralph, there does seem to be an awful number of cormorants around at the moment...hope there is enough fish for all of them !.lovely pic of the greylags.regatds,Stephen..

  2. My turn to make a TYPO this eve, REGARDS, Stephen.......

    1. The Cormorants turn up in late summer in increasing mobs, fish the lake out to the point of diminishing returns, and go away again in late winter or early spring. The cycle happens every year.

  3. Hello, I am very interested in knowing the species of fish in the Serpentine. I have so far found and identified, Carp, Perch, Ruffe and Pike.
    Do you know of any other species. I think I have seen all these species with you

    1. Also Roach and Bream, but I think that's the lot.

  4. Have we ever seen Pigeon Eater looking anything less than immaculate?
    I always thought anger took too much energy, but considering how Robins spend their time in various states of fury, I guess it must be less taxing to them than it is to us.

    1. He knows he is the Top Gull, and is very vain about his appearance.

      All wild creatures except those too primitive to notice live in a constant state of war. Peace is a human illusion.

  5. Nice to see the Blackbirds. They have become incredibly scarce around here. Used to see several down by road & the local park. I've heard one ( a presumed migrant) in my local park, last week, which was the first for a few months.

    I recorded 3 at Kew on Monday which is a high number for my recent visits!

    1. I think that Blackbird is local, as a pair nested in the shrubbery and raised three. Also a family in the Dell nearby with two. But they have got very scarce. The only migrant thrushes I've seen are Redwing.