Tuesday 28 November 2023

Three's a crowd

A pair of Black-Headed Gulls took a little walk together, calling companionably.

When a third gull intruded the result was discord, though it didn't come to a fight.

It takes a while for Herring Gulls to grow up. This one is in its third year. It now has an adult's yellow eyes but still some remnants of tweedy juvenile plumage.

The Little Owl at the Round Pond was briefly visible in the morning but disappeared before I could get a picture. It took two more visits before she would pose for her portrait.

A Wren struck a grand attitude in the Dell.

The Robin near the Henry Moore statue is now coming out to collect pine nuts from the railings.

The solitary Grey Wagtail was at the Lido.

A Blue Tit looked for larvae in an oak at the southwest corner of the bridge.

A Jay emerged in the shrubbery, hoping for a peanut.

A Magpie in the next tree ...

... and a Jackdaw at the leaf yard had the same thing on their mind.

Cormorants took a rest from fishing under the waterspouts on the edge of the Italian Garden.

The youngest Great Crested Grebe on the Serpentine, still being fed by its parents, was given one fish but was disappointed when the next one was for the parent.

It soothed its feelings with a preen.

These are only a few of the many Pochards on the Long Water, plus three Gadwalls to the right of centre.

One of them came close to the edge at the Vista.

Still no report of Waxwings in the London area. This is Tom's picture of a flock of 45 of them at Costessey in Norfolk.


  1. Wow !!.. 45 waxwings together...lovely pic of the jay..Stephen.

  2. I've never seen a single waxwing, let alone 45 of them. I would faint with the emotion.
    Thank God the Little Owl was gracious enough to pose for her portrait at last, even if it took several passes to coax her.
    Isn't that Grebe too young for this time of the year? I'm almost afraid to ask.

    1. The Great Crested Grebes in the park always have to wait till full summer before they can breed successfully, because of the fluctuating supply of small fish. In fact grebes' breeding time does depend largely on their assessment of the supply. Even so, this chick was hatched much later than the others. I don't think it can fly yet to get out to the river. However, if there is a sustained spell of frosty weather and the lake freezes, there's almost always a clear patch on the Serpentine that allows grebes to fish. When Bluebird Boats ran the boat hire they used to break a lot of ice deliberately by running powerboats through it. I hope the new administration will have the nous to do the same, but am not too confident as the management have shown themselves time and time again to be a bunch of utter nincompoops.

  3. Always interesting to watch the antics of the Black-headed Gulls.

    Grey Wagtails are always cheer up the day. I had one in my local park yesterday where the council have dug a drainage channel.

    Hoping the Waxwings turn up in London. Some locals having been going up to Herts to see some.

    1. We've got just one Grey Wagtail at the moment, but it does show up a lot as it races round the lake. Plenty of Pied ones.

      I'm keeping an eye on the London Bird Club Wiki, hoping for a chance of Waxwings in South Ealing or Euston.

    2. The last Waxwings I saw, some years back, where the Waxwings at South Ealing Station. They could turn up wherever there are suitable fruiting bushes/trees. Sorbus species seem a favourite, such as in South Ealing.

    3. At South Ealing Underground station they were concentrated in a single tree, an odd cultivated thing with purple and white berries. You might also see them resting between meals in the trees beside the platform. Later the tree was severely cut back by the house owner who was sick of people looking into his front garden, but I'm told it has regrown and is as good as ever. In general, supermarket car parks seem to be good, as they are often surrounded by rowans or hawthorns to make them less of an eyesore.