On a dark drizzly day you could hardly see the Little Owl in the oak tree near the Albert Memorial.
A couple of Pied Wagtails were picking their way through the fallen leaves at the bottom of the Parade Ground. Leaves stop them from sprinting around in their usual manner and they have to adopt a high-stepping gait like an American trotting horse. But it's worth it for them because the leaves harbour all kinds of insects and small creatures.
A Robin was also poking in fallen leaves.
But soon the gardeners will turn up with their noisy leaf blowers and blast all the leaves away, destroying a precious resource for small insect-eating birds. Yes, they have to remove leaves from the grass and the paths. But if they didn't blow them out of the shrubberies, it would preserve the habitat for the birds; the leaves would act as a mulch to deter the growth of weeds; and they would save themselves a lot of work. I have suggested this to the park authorities several times, but they are deaf to reason. Meanwhile, the number of Blackbirds in the park has fallen by over 90 per cent (yes, ninety) in the past 50 years, largely as a result of habitat destruction.
The Great Tits around the leaf yard were very hungry, and flew out in storms to take food from my hand.
Flocks of Long-Tailed Tits were travelling all over the park.
It's difficult to know how many there are. Although the birds whizz around briskly, the flock as a whole travels at about walking speed. If you are going in the same direction, you get the impression that you are surrounded by hundreds of birds. If you go the other way you see just a few birds going by in a flash.
There was a little flock of Goldfinches in a row of plane trees between the Rose Garden and Rotten Row. I have seen them in this exact spot several times recently.
A young Moorhen was climbing around on the tops of the plants in the floating reed beds at the east end of the Serpentine. It was poking in the leaves and probably finding insects, so this was not just mountaineering for the sake of it.
Two young Herring Gulls were diving into the Serpentine to pick up things from the bottom.
One of them found a bone, of which the other was envious.
The bone might be from some bird that has met its end in the lake, but it looks to me more as if it came from that common species the Kentucky Fried Chicken.
The young Mute Swan that was adopted by the Black Swan has remembered that I used to feed her when she was little, and now comes over when she sees me.
A Mallard was enjoying a wash at the Lido.
A pair of sleeping Great Crested Grebes ignored some Shovellers going past.
Charlie the Carrion Crow posed proudly in the classical setting of the Italian Garden. He is in front of the Nymphaeum, an apse with a semicircular seat in it, which at its back turns more prosaically into a brick cottage, though it may be inhabited by nymphs.
The Italian Garden, built in 1860, started a fashion for Italianate architecture which is responsible for all those fine white stucco buildings in South Kensington and Bayswater.