The patch of wood chippings under the plane trees near Physical Energy had attracted a couple of Mistle Thrushes, which were poking around and evidently finding insects or worms.
Last year some visiting Redwings also liked wood chippings. It seems odd that such a sterile material should have so many creatures in it. The plan behind these patches was first to remove the grass under the trees, then put down a layer of topsoil in the hope that its nutrients would leach down to the tree roots, and finally to cover the layer with chippings to discourage the growth of weeds. Whether it has helped to nourish the trees is debatable, but this is the patch that has had six kinds of fungus on it, and that can't be doing the trees any good.
There were also a lot of Mistle Thrushes in the rowan trees on Buck Hill, along with Blackbirds, a Chaffinch, a Magpie, and a flock of Starlings of which this is one.
The usual mob of pigeons -- or, as a proper ornithologist would call them, Feral Rock Doves -- were wandering around near Peter Pan. It was raining quite hard at the time, and it was noticeable that the pigeons with fancy plumage, such as this speckled one, were looking much more bedraggled that the standard grey ones. It seems that the colour change has made them less waterproof.
The rain had driven people inside at the Dell restaurant, so the local Grey Heron was having to fish for its living. Fish shelter under a mat of dead leaves, so it was in the right place, but I didn't see it catch anything.
Fish also shelter under the platform of Bluebird Boats, and this is a popular hunting ground for Great Crested Grebes. You seldom see them catch a fish, because they surface under the platform to eat it without being annoyed by gulls trying to steal their catch.
The Teal was in the usual place near the Italian Gardens, poking around in the mixture of duckweed and debris. His adult plumage is developing visibly each day. You can see the white line forming on his head, dividing the green areas from the ginger ones.
The Black Swan was having an unusually peaceful day with few Mute Swans about, and was stepping out with his girlfriend on the south shore of the Serpentine.
A Common Gull on the Lido railing stared at me. You can hardly see its eyes from straight ahead, and it can't have much binocular vision. However, the eyes of most birds are so close together that binocular vision is not very useful, and they judge distance and depth by observing parallax as they move.
Owls, with forward-facing eyes, do use binocular vision, but smaller owls supplement it by moving their heads from side to side. You sometimes see our Little Owls doing this. The nasty weather today kept the Little Owls inside their hollow trees and I didn't get a glimpse of them.
I met Alan Gibson, who records the rings on Black-Headed Gulls in the London parks. He had had a very poor day with only two rings seen. We were walking towards the Vista and I said, 'I bet EY09813's there.' And so it was, and flew over immediately and landed in front of my feet to be fed.
So the gull got a whole digestive biscuit, a small piece at a time, and Alan got another number.