Wednesday 6 December 2023

More Robins

Six Robins were singing in the Rose Garden today. Here are some of them.

Several Jays spotted Julia and me near the Speke obelisk and flew in to demand peanuts.

A Magpie looked splendidly shiny in the low winter sunlight.

The Little Owl was more or less visible. I don't think we're going to get a better view of her this year, but I will have a try at getting a usable image when she emerges to hunt at dusk. However, she doesn't generally come out till it's too dark to take any kind of a picture.

The usual pair of Pied Wagtails were working their way round the Serpentine.

I was wondering about the number of these in the park. Vinny the policeman told me that he'd seen a dozen on the Parade Ground early in the morning before the disturbance of the Winter Wasteland started up and drove them away. This is most encouraging.

The Black-Headed Gull EZ73301 pushed another off the No Swimming sign near the Dell restaurant. It's clearly a high-status bird and can claim its territory.

The same is true of EZ73323 on the other side of the lake ...

... and, of course, the gull that rules the landing stage near the Diana fountain. But look what happens when it flies away: within minutes seven have settled on this handy perch.

A Grey Heron waded up the edge of the Long Water.

Another added to the ornamentation of the Italian Garden.

The teenage Great Crested Grebe was fishing by itself, a big step forward in its development. It caught a fish, which sadly I couldn't film as the moment it surfaced it was attacked by a gull and had to dive. The music in the background comes from a cellist busking on the dam at the end of the Serpentine, a good spot for making money as it's crowded with people going to and coming from the Wasteland.

The pair of Gadwalls in the Italian Garden, which have been here for some time, are now only part of a small population, I think at least ten, here and on both lakes.

Four more passed in front of a pair of Shovellers on the gravel strip in the Long Water. The Shoveller drake can be seen raising his bill in a peculiar way ...

... and another was doing the same at the Vista. Perhaps this is some kind of Shoveller signal.


  1. Peregrine was at Cromwell road this afternoon too. I think it was the female but it was too far away to tell without binoculars or a camera

    1. What I think was the male, seen from a distance, was on the tower around 1.30 pm, but then left. So the jury is still out on definite identification.

  2. How lovely, to be able to hear, even if in the distance, the cello while watching the young Grebe show it is in a fair way to master everything it needs to survive. It doesn't get much more satisfying than this.

    1. At one time when I went past she was playing Saint-Saens 'Le Cygne', but neither a swan or a grebe was within filming range.

    2. Saint-Saens carelessly failed to write 'Le grèbe'. It might have been quite jolly when you consider how vocal they are in comparison to Mute Swans.

      However, there is this piece by Rameau, originally for keyboard, which in the version here is about as close to a Robin and a Blackbird as you can reasonably expect from human efforts.