The Round Pond had partly frozen, but this didn't bother the Scaup who, being only a few months old, may never have seen ice before. He has been here for a week now.
There was also ice on the Long Water. This causes any Little Grebes on the lake to move down to the dead willow tree near the Italian Garden, which is next to the borehole that feeds the lake. Water emerges from this at the steady 10°C of underground, so the area never freezes even in the coldest weather. There were two Little Grebes fishing here, and one of them caught a fish. They have probably been on the lake all this time unnoticed. They were very hard to see among the mossy twigs, and this is the only clear shot I got of either of them.
When I arrived in the Italian Garden there were two Cormorants fishing under the balustrade. As soon as they saw me they panicked and rushed up the lake. Our visiting Cormorants don't like people coming to close to them, but they are not usually as shy as that.
At the east end of the Serpentine, the local pair of Great Crested Grebes had been fishing on either side of the floating baskets. They had not seen each other for at least ten minutes, so when one of them swam under the basket and surfaced in sight of her mate, they needed to have a proper greeting ceremony. These elaborate courtesies help to keep grebe couples together for life.
There were a great many Magpies on the Archery Field. Here are ten of them.
One of the Nuthatches was singing in a tree near the leaf yard. He followed me to collect some food from the railings.
So did one of the Coal Tits.
The male Tawny Owl was in his usual place, restless and preening and scratching himself. He has a long vigil ahead of him and a lot of hunting to do, as it takes over two months from laying eggs to the time that the owlets emerge from their tree, and both his mate and the owlets need food brought to them.
Virginia Grey told me that she had found a dead Blackbird with a ring from Stavanger in Norway. There are a lot of migrant Blackbirds and other thrushes from mainland Europe in the park at the moment, though we are a bit short of Redwings and Fieldfares.