Monday, 19 March 2018

The snow was almost completely melted, and Blackbirds ...

... and Robins could get on with business as usual.

A Blue Tit in the Rose Garden waited for some Rose-Ringed Parakeets to leave the feeder.

Anyone who feeds the parakeets may find that he gets more than he bargained for.

One drank from a puddle left by the melting snow.

Long-Tailed Tits flew through dense tangles of twigs. I don't know how they do it.

A Pied Wagtail ran briskly along the edge of the Serpentine.

A Jackdaw perched on a branch in the chilly sunshine.

The male Little Owl at the leaf yard looked down from the nest hole.

The female owl near the Albert Memorial emerged from the crack in the top of the branch they nest in.

A brand-new brood of Egyptian Geese was being brought down to the lake, attended by one of the gardeners who had to lift the goslings up the kerb.

But once in the water they faced attacks by a Mute Swan and a rival Egyptian, the male of another pair whose territory they had crossed in getting to the lake. A Lesser Black-Backed Gull waited to pounce.

And Herring Gulls were circling overhead.

The pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull can't catch a Feral Pigeon on open ground -- they are wary and can take off faster than he can.

So he had a go at a Black-Headed Gull instead, and missed it by a fraction.

The recent repairs to the small boathouses involved fixing welded metal mesh to all the openings to keep pigeons from entering. But of course the pigeons have got in. They always do.

Sunday, 18 March 2018

The winter wind is still icy, but spring is winning.

One of the Carrion Crows on Buck Hill gave me a pathetic look. It would have got a peanut anyway.

The white-faced Blackbird also looked snowbound as she begged for some sultanas.

But in fact the Blackbirds were doing all right, as the ground was not frozen under the light snow cover. One turned over a leaf and found a larva underneath.

The Redwings on the Parade Ground were foraging busily.

A Pied Wagtail hunted in a patch of gravel under a tree.

Both the Nuthatches in the leaf yard came down to be fed.

As usual, this Coal Tit hung back, and it was quite hard to give it a chance to get a pine nut off the railings.

Two Long-Tailed Tits were at a feeder in the Dell.

The Rose-Ringed Parakeets, most conspicuous in winter, will soon be blending into the new leaves.

More young leaves were coming out behind a pair of Jackdaws.

The brisk wind raised choppy waves on the lake, and a pair of Gadwalls were bouncing up and down.

The white Mallard and his companions threaded their way past some Mute Swans in the lee of the Dell restaurant balcony.

The pair of Great Crested Grebes here have now lost the rafts on which they have often tried to nest, always unsuccessfully.

It would be good if this finally drove them to nest in the reed bed. But I think that grebes that don't live in reedy areas haven't grasped the idea that reeds give good shelter and the stems make strong nests.

A Lesser Black-Backed Gull in the middle of a jostling crowd of Coots and Greylag Geese shouted irritably.

A young Herring Gull was playing with a chicken bone.

Virginia found one with a much better toy, a shiny fork from the Lido restaurant.

There was a mysterious Japanese inscription in the snow. It was preceded by '2018', so it's probably not too exciting.

Saturday, 17 March 2018

It was a day of light snow and freezing wind, and spring was on hold. The Redwings, which I thought had left, were feeding near the Physical Energy statue ...

... accompanied by the local pair of Mistle Thrushes.

The white-faced Blackbird came out for her customary treat of sultanas.

The Black-Headed Gulls are all blacked up and ready to go.

A Common Gull had a very successful worm dancing session in the Diana fountain enclosure, where there are the best worms in the park.

A Herring Gull on the old cast iron water level indicator in the Serpentine had a preen and a good shake to settle its feathers.

Two Canada--Greylag hybrid geese, which I haven't seen for a while, were at the Lido. This picture shows how big they are. The one in front is larger than a Canada Goose.

A female Gadwall showed off her beautifully marked feathers.

A Moorhen poked around for tiny edible creatures in the little pool at the top of the Dell waterfall.

A Pied Wagtail was also searching on the edge of the Serpentine.

The pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull (on the left here) and his mate were in their usual place near the Dell restaurant. They have been hunting farther afield recently, probably because the Feral Pigeons here have become very wary of them, but I saw the remains of a pigeon on the edge of the lake yesterday.

Two male Rose-Ringed Parakeets squabbled furiously on the feeder in the Rose Garden. Two females would have fed peacefully from opposite sides of the feeder.

Surprisingly, the female Little Owl at the Albert Memorial had come out in the icy wind.

A girl being photographed with a giant bunch of flowers was doing her best to look happy. Photo shoots always seem to happen in the worst weather.

Friday, 16 March 2018

The Little Owls near the Henry Moore statue were having a hard time, as a pair of Stock Doves had invaded their nest hole.

The male owl was some distance away in a tree north of the shelter. He's very small even by the standards of male Little Owls, which are smaller than females.

His mate was in a tree nearer the hole, glaring at a Rose-Ringed Parakeet that had cheekily perched in front of her.

Sometimes Little Owls can expel Stock Doves. The pair near the Albert Memorial managed this, and are still in possession of their hole. The female was there today.

The female Little Owl near the leaf yard was also looking out of her hole.

A Mistle Thrush in a tree near Hyde Park Corner was holding a beakful of moss and calling through it rather indistinctly. I think this is an invitation to its mate to start nesting.

In the Rose Garden, the male Chaffinch ...

... and one of the Coal Tits were waiting for me to fill the feeder.

When I did, the first customer was a Blue Tit. It holds the seed down on a twig with its feet and pecks little bits out of it.

A Magpie probed the bark of a tree near Queen's Gate, looking for insects.

This Great Crested Grebe on the Serpentine is still in winter plumage, long after the others have changed into their breeding finery.

A Coot preened on its nest in the willow tree next to the bridge.

The female Egyptian Goose who has never managed to bring up a single gosling in 14 years was also preening nearby.

The Egyptian Geese on the Round Pond still have four young.

A Gadwall drake on the Serpentine looked quietly elegant in the hazy sunshine.

A crocus attracted a honeybee. (I hope it's not yet another hoverfly pretending to be a bee.)

If the end of the world is coming, you might as well have a good rest before it starts.