Wednesday 14 February 2024

A bit of song

A Robin was in good voice by the leaf yard, busy enough with its song not to flee when the video camera was pointed at it.

The Song Thrush here is often heard singing even in winter but is hard to film, as it's usually deep inside the enclosure and masked by twigs.

This Blackbird near the Cavalry Memorial is the one I filmed singing in the nearby Rose Garden on 7 February, but it wasn't in the mood on a dull grey day.

The Robin in the shrubbery here was singing but unfilmable, as it was in competition with a passing helicopter, a police siren, and a chipper shredding the twigs of a tree that was being pruned. The east end of Hyde Park is a noisy place.

The Robin at the southwest corner of the bridge is getting used to collecting pine nuts from the ground and no longer bolts into the bushes when you throw one.

This Coal Tit at the northwest corner is often seen but very shy and elusive ...

... while the one at Mount Gate is quite forthcoming and will catch pine nuts thrown up in the air.

Also at Mount Gate, a good view of a female Chaffinch.

There were several Blue Tits in the Flower Walk ...

... and a mob of Great Tits. This one was looking out from an aucuba bush, that boring plant with spotty leaves that is much liked by council planners and crops up everywhere in town.

The Dunnock at the Lido crept out at a corner of the restaurant terrace. Spilt crumbs attract insects, and it has become quite bold about hunting them here.

To complete the roundup of small birds, Ahmet Amerikali found a Goldcrest near Peter Pan ...

... and a Treecreeper walking along the underside of a branch on one of the big oaks at the southwest corner of the leaf yard. You can't go looking for Treecreepers as they turn up unexpectedly, but these oaks are probably the place where they appear most.

He also got a fine shot of a Cormorant catching a perch under the marble fountain at the edge of the Italian Garden. Cormorants have been fishing this spot so intensively that it's surprising there are any fish left.

A Grey Heron stood on the Mute Swans' nesting island nearby. So far the killer swan and his mate who have seized the Long Water haven't shown any interest in this place, but it seems likely that they'll choose it rather than the unsafe site near the Lido which they've used in previous years.

The killer was busy persecuting the swans on the Serpentine. Three swans flew past the island on their way to the relative peace of the east end of the lake.

One of the foxes could be seen in the Dell.


  1. I'm sure the Robin won against the helicopters and the wood chipper.
    I can't get enough of the song of the Song Thrush. It is such a treat to be able to hear it.

    1. I think our Song Thrushes are singing more this winter than they have in the past. Formerly a mild sunny day might start one up, but now I'm hearing them most days whatever the weather. Perhaps we just have more winter migrants this year, but I know that three of the singing males around the Long Water are permanent residents.