Saturday 3 February 2024

Four singing thrushes

A mild day started no fewer than four Song Thrushes singing in Kensington Gardens. This one at the Queen's Gate crossing of the Flower Walk was answered by the dominant Robin ...

... who was in the bush at the corner.

The Robin tries to chase the local Great Tits and Blue Tits away, but they just come back. Sometimes a determined tit knocks him off my hand as he is enjoying a leisurely meal of pine nuts.

Another of the Song Thrushes, the one often seen in the leaf yard. I did film him but he was too far away for a good sound recording.

There are lots of Wrens along the edges of the Long Water ...

... and in the reed bed by the Italian Garden.

A male Feral Pigeon beside the Serpentine wooed a female and mated with her. The male is the darker one, and you can see him trying to get round to the back of the female.

American visitors are often amazed by the size of Wood Pigeons, which are not native to America. Here is one on the railings at Peter Pan beside an ordinary Feral Pigeon.

I thought these Carrion Crows in the Dell had discovered an interesting source of natural food such as an ants' nest, but closer inspection showed that someone had just chucked some cooked rice on the ground. Anyway, they were gobbling it up.

There was a reasonable number of Redwings on the Parade Ground, but not enough to make them spread out from their favourite clump of trees, so pictures of them remain distant.

The much fouled gravel strip in the Round Pond almost always has at least one Pied Wagtail on it.

This Grey Heron on the Long Water constantly stands in the same place staring into the bushes. It's uncertain whether it expects fish or rats here, or indeed both.

During the past few days there has always been a heron standing on the nest at the island, presumably guarding chicks though I still haven't seen or heard one.

The widowed heron with the red bill was standing on a nest at the east end of the island which a pair started building several years ago but never completed for some reason.

The Mute Swan pair from the island have resisted the aggression of the killer swan, and the male 4FYG is the second ranking male on the Serpentine. They were on their home water.

They will probably nest on the island again, but if so there will be a problem. Last year they had only one surviving cygnet, the others probably having been killed, and the survivor had to be taken into care at the Swan Sanctuary, where it remains. It's possible that if the killer pair take over the nesting island on the Long Water they will reduce their attacks on the Serpentine, but judging by their behaviour yesterday when the whole family went on a raid at the lake outflow this seems unlikely.

The Diana fountain has broken down again. It takes officialdom 39 words and three uses of 'issue' to announce this simple fact. The use of the Avant Garde font, an adaptation of Futura with shorter ascenders and descenders, adds a certain style to the waffle.


  1. Ah, officialese. The art of not saying a thing while going on and on. I like to think that using the Avant Garde font was a tiny sign of rebellion by the hapless employee who had to type the notice.
    I was disappointed to learn that Robins and Thrushes are no longer considered cousins. I had thought that the fact that Robins react to and answer singing Thrushes may show that they somehow recognized their kinship. Alas, molecular phylogenetics had to spoil the fun.

    1. And the real problem was not an issue, but the non-issue of water from the pump powering the fountain. If you can call this thing a fountain -- we call in the 'Diana drain'.

      Never mind molecular phylogenetics and the exasperating habit of taxonomists who confine all creatures into smaller and smaller boxes. Robins and Song Thrushes have songs that speak to each other musically, and that transcends species.

  2. I do like song thushes but I think there is a case for renaming them as "Loud repetitive thrush". And definitely a great example of Official Speak. Pity about the redwings

    1. I love Song Thrushes' song. It's silly, and Silly is Good.