Saturday, 3 January 2015

The persistent drizzle didn't bother the male Tawny Owl, who was in his usual place on the horse chestnut tree,  his feathers beaded with raindrops.

And Great Crested Grebes remain warm and dry even when the water is streaming off their outer feathers.

But the rain does keep away people, and that allowed a Pied Wagtail to have a free run along the edge of the Serpentine.

Between the small boathouses, two Grey Herons were having one of their standoffs, chasing and shrieking and jumping at each other.

Presumably this behaviour ensures that they have a large enough fishing ground, but the herons in Regent's Park, which are much more numerous, seem to be able to stand and fish quite close to each other without dissent.

The young Mute Swan is still in the Italian Garden pond.

It is not the first time that a swan, usually a young one, has taken up residence here. They seem to be able to get enough nourishment from the algae in the pond, at least for a while. And they can leave when they want to, though I have never seen how they do so. They are capable of taking off from land, though only just and it is clearly a strain for them.

This is an immature Shoveller drake, seen at Peter Pan. His plumage still has traces of the juvenile barred pattern, similar to that of a female.

A Mistle Thrush was hopping around Buck Hill. This picture shows the typical pattern of spots, which are pointed and arranged in longitudinal rows at the top, but lower down become rounded and horizontally organised. Song Thrushes have pointed longitudinal spots all the way down.

The reliable Green Woodpeckers were on the Archery Field.

They seem to be there every day now except during archery practice, when they understandably move into the bushes behind the Orangery.


  1. I love the description of heron fisticuffs. That must be quite a spectacle!