Saturday, 27 October 2012

One of the Grey Wagtails that nest every year in the Dell put in an appearance at the top of the waterfall. The ledge where the shallow stream runs over the edge is popular with all kinds of small birds which go there to drink and bathe; for the wagtail there is also a chance of some insects on the stones and around the edge of the little pool.

The yew tree beside the path from Peter Pan to the Italian Garden has produced a reasonable crop of berries, and is much visited by Blackbirds and Song Thrushes such as this one.

For some reason I have never seen a Mistle Thrush in this tree, although these birds eat other kinds of berries, especially rowan. But I suppose that all species have their preferences. The taxonomic name of the Mistle Thrush is Turdus viscivorus, the mistletoe-eating thrush, but mistletoe is a rare plant in Britain now and I have never seen this and a thrush at the same time.

No sign of a Tawny Owl today. There was a sharp wind and they are probably sheltering in the hole in their nest tree.

A small party of Great Crested Grebes have arrived on the Serpentine; I counted five new arrivals. You can tell that they have just flown in because they are peacefully fishing side by side. They abandon their territorial claims when travelling -- 'migrating' is the wrong word here, as they usually just move around inside a fairly small locality to whichever place suits them best at the time.

There are a lot of first-year Lesser Black-Backed Gulls on the Serpentine. Here they are quarrelling over a piece of bread thrown into the lake by a diner at the Lido restaurant. A Greylag Goose took it first but promptly lost it to a swooping gull, and the fight moved out into the middle of the lake.

A pair of Egyptian Geese found an attractive background to match their plumage.


  1. Sorry to have had to dash off - to get warm!
    These photos are all beautiful colour studies, not just the last and, of course, the first.
    I had also noticed a larger than usual number of Greater Crested Grebes on the Serpentine yesterday. And also caught a tantalisingly beautiful view, from the south bank of the Serpentine, across the dark, steely grey water to the paler grey of the cloudy sky and, in between, a striking row of orange-, red-, green- and yellow-leafed trees on the north bank, suddenly illuminated by a brief patch of sun. Too briefly for me to photograph, unfortunately.

  2. Are you sure that is a Mistle Thrush-? looks like a redwing to me.

    1. Definitely not. Redwings have distinctive light and dark 'eyebrow' stripes, as well as the reddish stripe along their folded wings that gives them their name.