Tuesday 19 December 2023

Singing in the rain

Rainy days keep the crowds away, so there are often good opportunities for pictures.

Song Thrushes quite often sing in winter, and today there were three singing around the Long Water. They're happy when it rains, as this brings up worms.

The usual Chaffinch turned up at the Round Pond, demanding one pine nut after another.

A Great Tit ...

... and a Jay were also looking expectant in the yellow leaves of a hornbeam tree, the only bright spot in the drab winter landscape around the pond.

The Little Owl was sheltering in her hole.

The usual pair of Magpies by the Long Water were waiting in a tree with yellow bark. Since it has no leaves now I can't identify it.

Tom got a video of Waxwings in Colchester yesterday.

Some have now been seen in west London. But the chances of them coming to the park are slim, because there aren't nearly enough trees with berries, and what there is has been stripped by Wood Pigeons, Starlings and Rose-Ringed Parakeets.

The mate of the pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull was having her turn eating the latest kill near the Lido, and didn't want her son interfering till she'd had her fill.

The old Grey Heron was standing on the Henry Moore sculpture looking soggy and sad.

The heron with the red bill at the island was on the nest, equally depressed.

But a Tufted drake on the shore below was waterproof and cheerful.

The young female Mute Swan from Regent's Park stepped nimbly ashore at the Dell restaurant. Although fully grown she's very small, and much lighter on her feet than the huge waddling males.

Normally there would be nothing remarkable about a picture of three swans in the middle of the Serpentine, but this is the first time I've seen swans returning to their usual place since the killer swan imposed his reign of terror and forced them to the east end. They had reached slightly west of the island.

The noisy Egyptian Geese on the sawn-off tree near the Serpentine Gallery had fallen silent, as they were having to compete with the din of a chainsaw and a wood chipper a few yards away.

A Moorhen in the Italian Garden took advantage of rain-wetted feathers to have a preen.

A clump of Oyster Mushrooms seemed about to deliver a dire fungal prophecy.


  1. As long as the mushrooms don't predict a summer wasteland as well as a winter one !.,Stephen....

    1. We do have a smaller wasteland in the summer, the so-called 'Summer Time' concerts. They don't make as much of a mess as the winter event, but they make a hell of a lot of noise.

  2. I am reminded of I think it was a 90s pop song, "I'm only happy when it rains". Now I'm picturing a, quite appropriately named, Song Thrush singing it!
    Herons tend to be depressive, and swans moody. I wonder if there are base temperaments among different bird species.

    1. It may be an example of the pathetic fallacy to suppose that Song Thrushes sing when they're happy, especially as their song sounds so happy to us. But they do sing when it rains and there are lots of worms, and on sunny days in winter when they get a bit of much needed warmth, and I think happiness really does enter into it.