Friday, 18 January 2013
A day of falling snow and a sharp east wind. The reeds on the edge of the lake were whipping about so much that even the tenacious Bearded Tits lost their grip occasionally.
The wind had whipped up choppy waves on the Serpentine and broken up the ice. The Long Water is more sheltered, but here too some of the ice had gone.
The two young Mute Swans in the Italian Garden are occupying separate pools after their fight a few days ago. They have never seen snow before, of course. Here one of them experiments to see if it is good to eat. It ate quite a lot of it while I was watching.
In the lake nearby, the two Little Grebes remain under the willow tree. I just happened to be pushing the shutter button as they dived simultaneously.
There are large flocks of greylag and Canada geese feeding on the snow-covered grass in Hyde Park, scraping the snow aside with their bills to get to it. I am always surprised that these large birds can derive enough energy from grass to suit their energetic life. Birds have a simple, quick and rather inefficient digestive system, unlike the complicated arrangements of cows and rabbits that allow them to extract the last bit of nourishment from vegetation.
There was a Goldcrest flitting around in the small hedge behind the fence of the Lido restaurant.
It was good to see this tiny bird, as the gardeners have destroyed the bushes at the top of the waterfall that were their habitat. There is a family of Goldcrests in a yew tree at the southeast corner of the Dell, but I think this one is from the group that lived near the waterfall. After a while it flew across the path into a holly bush. They always prefer evergreen bushes, which give good cover all the year round.