Thursday, 22 February 2018

A Long-Tailed Tit probed the bark of a tree for insect larvae.

On a chilly day a few hardy people were sitting on the terrace of the Dell restaurant, and a Pied Wagtail was running around under the tables looking for insects attracted by spilt food.

A Starling stood on a table waiting  to dash over and grab something.

The pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull circled overhead, calling to his mate on the shore.

In the Diana fountain enclosure a Black-Headed Gull pattered its feet to bring up worms, and got several.

Two Cormorants in breeding plumage sat side by side on posts at the island.

Cormorants have started breeding inland, in rocky and secluded places, but not in the park.

In the lowest nest on the island, a Grey Heron stood over its sitting mate. They had probably just changed places sitting on the eggs.

A Robin didn't let the cold wind put it off singing.

The flock of Redwings has moved to an area of grass on the edge of Park Lane, where there are more worms than on the Parade Ground.

The hole in the horse chestnut near the Queen's Temple, previously occupied by the male Little Owl of the leaf yard pair, had been taken over by a Stock Dove. I think the pair are now together in their nest tree, but it was too cold for them to venture out.

The sun came out in the early afternoon, and so did the Little Owl in the lime tree near the Henry Moore sculpture, though she was in a place where it was impossible to get a good view of her.

A pair of Great Crested Grebes dozed side by side under the willow near the bridge, doing their well known impersonation of a pair of bedroom slippers.

The sunshine brought out the shine on a Mandarin drake ...

... and a Mallard. They are so common that it's easy to forget the splendour of their iridescent green feathers.

Charlie the Carrion Crow was also looking very shiny. He came up to the bridge with his mate Melissa to demand peanuts.

A Jackdaw near the Albert Memorial had the same idea.

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

A third Grey Heron nest is going up on the island. At present the first nest has a heron sitting on eggs, and the second is occupied but there is no sign of sitting yet.

A fourth pair of herons perched in a tree a couple of hundred yards along the shore. There is plenty of space for them on the island if they decide to nest as well.

A pair of Great Crested Grebes looked enviously at a Coot's well made nest. They sometimes creep up to these under water and steal twigs.

The Coot stood guard on the other side of the nest.

While a gardener poked debris out of the small waterfall in the Dell, the resident pair of Moorhens waited below for something interesting to wash over.

A Carrion Crow tried to get the lid off a plastic food container.

The flock of Redwings has moved to Kensington Gardens, where they were dashing around in the grass near the statue of Physical Energy.

One of them struggled to pull up a worm.

As well as the usual Wren on the path in the Flower Walk ...

... there was a Long-Tailed Tit.

The Wren spends so much time here that it can't just be picking up grit. There must be something edible here.

On the shore of the Serpentine, a Pied Wagtail had found a larva which was at least large enough to be visible.

Both Nuthatches were in the leaf yard waiting to be fed.

The approach of spring has brought out some flowers on the bushes in the Rose Garden. One of the Robins posed prettily.

The dull weather brightened a little in the afternoon, and the Little Owl near the Albert Memorial came out to the front of her hole.

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Blondie the Egyptian Goose is down to her last gosling, and it seems unlikely that this one will last long. It was only a few yards from several hungry Herring Gulls.

The Great Crested Grebes at the island were busy draping soggy algae on their ramshackle nest.

The grebes near the bridge have given up nest building for the time being, and were dozing under the willow tree.

A young Herring Gull found that an orange plastic buoy was just large enough for it to balance on without tipping over.

This Black-Headed Gull was ringed in 2016 in Griend in the Netherlands by Date Lutterop. It has come to the park every winter since then.

A Pied Wagtail found a small larva on the path at the bottom of the Parade Ground.

There are still many Redwings looking for worms under the small trees just up the slope.

A Magpie looked out from a winter flowering jasmine bush near the bridge.

One of the Nuthatches in the leaf yard looked cautiously over the top of a branch before coming down to take food from my hand.

A few Long-Tailed Tits were working their way up the edge of the Long Water.

In the Rose Garden, one of the pair of Coal Tits hung upside down on the nut feeder.

A Dunnock hopped around on the path underneath picking up the spillage.

A pair of Feral Pigeons clearly fancied each other. These highly varied birds often choose mates their own colour.

Monday, 19 February 2018

It was a dismal wet morning. The Little Owl near the Albert Memorial, sheltered in her hole, was having a preen.

But the owl near the Henry Moore sculpture sat imperturbably in the rain. I've often noticed that she is much tougher than the other Little Owls.

Song Thrushes enjoy rain, because it brings up worms. This one near the leaf yard was having a singing contest with another.

A Wren in the Flower Walk was poking around in the gravel rolled into the tarmac path. It's often here, and must be finding food but, whatever this is, it's so tiny that I have never seen it.

A Green Woodpecker was looking bedraggled ...

... and so was a Jay ...

... and a Carrion Crow only slightly less so.

Some crows at the leaf yard were enjoying a brawl ...

... and so were some Coots on the Long Water.

The dank scene was enlivened by the sound of Redwings and Starlings in the trees beside the Serpentine.

Blondie the Egyptian Goose has two young, down from five two days ago though I couldn't find her then.

A pair of Canada Geese were exploring a possible nest site in the reed bed near the Italian Garden. Canadas, probably the same pair, have looked at this place before, but have always gone for somewhere more secluded.

Several pairs of Mute Swans were courting.

Almost all the wintering Pochards have left. There were just three on the Long Water.

The little pool at the top of the Dell waterfall is full of coins thrown in by visitors. Throwing valuable objects into water dates back to the time of the ancient Britons -- see for example the Battersea Shield.

But Mallards are splendidly indifferent to wealth, and were diving for food.

A young Herring Gull played with a stick on a post near the island.