Friday 29 December 2023


A Blue Tit perched among wintersweet blossom in the Flower Walk.

A Coal Tit at Mount Gate looked down rather nervously from a twig. They are among the smallest British birds, at 8-10 grams lighter than a Wren, and have to keep their distance from larger birds.

Several mahonia bushes in the Rose Garden are in different stages of flowering, and a Wood Pigeon was taking advantage of one.

If we have a sunny day there's a good chance of seeing an overwintering Buff-Tailed Bumblebee in one, as these flowers keep them fed in December in January, followed by hellebore.

The Little Owl at the Round Pond was perched low in her hole.

A Carrion Crow bathed in the Serpentine ...

... annoying a Coot, which chased it out of the water.

A pair of crows perched side by side on the top of the holly tree beside the Long Water where the Magpies like to go.

The Magpies had been forced farther up the lake.

A Common Gull preened on the edge of the Serpentine. Despite their name they are the least numerous of the four gull species we see routinely in the park, with seldom more than 50 present.

This Grey Heron on the edge of the island is one of the pair that are nesting. It has a faint pink tinge to its bill, its breeding colours, but not bright red like the other heron that's claiming a nest.

There were still half a dozen Cormorants on the posts at Peter Pan.

The Moorhen pair at the Vista poked around by the edge.

The Great Crested Grebes that nested beside the bridge were patrolling their territory. It's a large patch including the whole of the Long Water and a stretch on the opposite side of the bridge, showing that they have a high status.

The next pair of grebes on the Serpentine, from the west end of the island, were displaying.

The youngest grebe, from the family at the east end of the island, was fishing at the outflow.


  1. Hi Ralph, lovely pic of the displaying grebes, I see what you meant about taking LOTS of pics and discarding the majority of them to find the gems ! Regards,Stephen..

    1. Yes. The grebe picture was one of about 25, and the only one where both heads were in a good position.

    2. I saw the post's title and thought, what a lovely way to describe a winter day. Then I realized it meant a plant!
      Gorgeously delicate picture of the Blue Tit. On one hand I'm sorry that it takes so many attempts to get one of these fickle creatures to pose correctly, but on the other does it ever look great when they do!

    3. Some would say that using a digital camera, on which thousands of pictures can be stored, takes the skill out of photography. You just snap away till you get the right pose. Imagine the difficulty with a film camera and just 36 exposures available. But in case anyone thinks that the film camera era was a golden age, all they have to do is look at the old pictures of birds in, say, British Birds, which has its early issues online. They're terrible.