Sunday, 1 November 2015

A female Teal was poking around in an unattractive scummy patch of water under the parapet of the Italian Garden.

It's hard to identify female ducks, and the characteristic teal-blue speculum where the secondary feathers are folded up was looking dark blue like a Mallard's at some angles. It was only after comparing the photograph with pictures in my bird guide that I was sure.

Another arrival: the first Redwing of the autumn to reach Hyde Park, photographed in the minature mossy swamp just in front of the Rima relief.

Redwings have been reported in outer London for some time, but it takes them a while to reach the centre. We see only a few until the dismal funfair has finally been got rid of in mid-January, and then quite a lot turn up to look for worms and insects exposed in the ruined grass at the bottom of the Parade Ground.

The Black Swan and the young Mute Swan seem to be inseparable now. They were cruising along the south shore of the Serpentine looking for people to feed them, of which their were a fair number on a sunny Sunday.

A neat triangular formation of Canada Geese flew over the other side of the lake.

A young Herring Gull found an apple core and ate it enthusiastically. I have seen them try and reject vegetables and salad, and even strawberries, but something about apples seems to appeal to them -- perhaps it's because they can play with one as well as eat it.

Gulls of all species consider the roofs of the small boathouses their own place, and pigeons are not welcome. This Black-Headed Gull disposed of the intruder the moment it tried to land.

The rowan trees at the top of Buck Hill are still not attracting many birds, but a solitary male Blackbird was enjoying the berries in a yew.

A Starling was eating seeds in a tree near the Dell restaurant.

I am no good at trees, but think that this is a small lime tree, probably Tilia cordata, and that the things that look like narrow leaves are in fact bracts from which the seeds hang.

While I was taking pictures from the bridge, the local pair of Jackdaws saw me, and one flew on to a post and looked up hopefully to see when I was going to give it a peanut.

The male Little Owl was on his favourite branch.

His mate was in the next tree, though not in a place where a good picture was possible.


  1. Thank you again for showing me around your patch today, it was most enjoyable! Cracking picture of the blackbird as well!

    1. Thanks, and I enjoyed it too. It's always good to have an extra pair of eyes. As you can see, it was a Teal, though it was so ordinary looking that if I'd been there by myself I probably wouldn't have given it a second glance.

  2. Typo? Am I missing something or should that read "Lido restaurant"?

    1. Thanks for pointing that out -- corrected. At this time of year a lot of Starlings congregate near the Dell restaurant in the small trees on the north side of the road, as if they were waiting for the funfair to open so that they can steal people's incredibly overpriced chips.

  3. I saw the female Teal on Saturday, but in a very shady spot north of the Peter Pan posts, and had quite talked myself into thinking it must have been a female Tufted Duck, which it actually (obviously) wasn't! It just goes to show that the sensible habit of mind that assumes an identification quandary is best resolved by going for a dull option isn't always right, nor always safe.

    Harry G.

    1. Yes, she is deceptively boring-looking, isn't she?