Sunday 12 November 2023

Cetti's Warbler by the Serpentine

Today's star picture comes from Ahmet Amerikali: a Cetti's Warbler in the reed bed at the east end of the Serpentine. These very shy and elusive birds are hard enough to see, let alone get a photograph as good as this.

He also found a Goldcrest in the yew tree near the bridge where they nest every year.

When I went past all I found was some Great Tits, which came out wanting pine nuts.

A squirrel ate the yew fruit, carefully chewing off the sweet red aril and discarding the poisonous seed inside. Birds can get away with swallowing the seed, which goes through their hasty digestive system unaffected, but it seems that mammals have to be more careful.

A Grey Wagtail hunted insects over the Dell stream. There are always some midges here, even in the depth of winter.

There was a Pied Wagtail on the boat hire platform. This one is male, with a black back.

The plentiful bird droppings attract insects.

A female Pied Wagtail, with a grey back, was running around on the football fields where the Crystal Palace stood in 1851.

Far above her, the female Peregrine perched on the tower. She posed no threat to the wagtail as she would far rather catch a fat Feral Pigeon.

A pigeon inspected a Snickers wrapper to see if there were any crumbs left inside.

Another had been chosen for the notorious Lesser Black-Backed Gull's Sunday lunch.

After the morning drizzle stopped the female Little Owl came out on to the horse chestnut tree.

The old Grey Heron stood on top of the Henry Moore sculpture.

There was no shortage of Cormorants on the posts at the bridge.

For no discernible reason, a Coot at the island chased a Herring Gull ...

... which was seriously annoyed ...

... and yelled at the Coot, which retreated.

A solitary Black-Headed Gull was surrounded by Shovellers on the gravel strip at the Vista.


  1. Hi Ralph, outstanding pics you said the warbler pic was amazing.the coot taking on a gull (an obvious mistake. ) was very amusing !!!...regards,Stephen.

  2. I might buy a good (Sony?) Camera myself one day now....regards,Stephen.

  3. Ahmet Amerikali's picture of the Cetti's Warbler is amazing! I can count the times in my entire life I have seen one with the fingers of one hand.
    Excellent sequence of the foolhardy and overenthusiastic Coot having a go at a Herring Gull, no less. Those are no mean opponents, and the Coot for once behaved wisely retreating.

    1. I'm not sure that 'Coot' and 'wisely' can appear in the same sentence. But anyway it was frightened off.

  4. Yes, lovely shots of the Cetti's Warbler & Goldcrest.

    Interesting to see your shots of the altercation between the Herring Gull & Coot.

    1. Heaven knows what the Coot thought it was doing, if it thought at all. Probably just random aggressiveness directed at the nearest creature.

  5. That sounds like a Coot, Ralph.