Friday, 2 March 2018

The thaw has set in, and the Long Water is now partly ice-free. I was rocked by the chilly wind while filming this.

But there's some way to go yet. This ice-encased grass was at the top of the Dell waterfall.

The thin covering of snow doesn't prevent Greylag Geese from feeding. They take turns to act as lookout to warn the flock of danger.

The Great Crested Grebe pair at the east end of the Serpentine were forced out  by the ice, but have now returned and were preening and fishing in their usual place.

A few yards away it was business as usual for the resident Grey Heron ...

... and a pair of Mute Swans were courting.

There are still lots of Gadwalls on both lakes.

A Carrion Crow at the Dell restaurant found a piece of toast, and wanted it all for itself. I think the other crow was its mate, but it still didn't get any.

A Blackbird on the other side of the fence found a snow-covered worm ...

... and a small flock of Long-Tailed Tits crossed the path.

A Great Tit in the leaf yard stared at the camera, impatient to be fed ...

... and the usual Jackdaws stopped digging in the snow and trotted up to be given peanuts.

The park was full of very hungry Robins, which have become much bolder than usual. This one, which I'm sure I've never fed before, came to my feet in the middle of the Vista and looked at me appealingly, then flew up to my hand to take as many pine nuts as it could cram in.

Usually small birds don't like landing on gloves -- they have got used to hands but this is different. However, today they were too hungry to be scrupulous about their landing ground. It made feeding them much more comfortable.

A last Robin picture: the one at the feeder in the Rose Garden has paired up with a mate. When I last saw these two together a week ago, they were chasing each other.

Tom was at Rainham Marshes, where he found at least a dozen Jack Snipe in the reeds. They were very distant, but he managed to get a picture by holding his smartphone to the eyepiece of a friend's scope.


  1. I love the Robins!
    There were around 20 Shovellers at the east end of the Serpentine. Not big enough for one of their feeding wheels but still an impressive sight.
    The notorious Lesser Black-Backed Gull was sharing a pigeon with his mate and chasing away crows

    1. When I passed the notorious gull he was perched on a notice and looking hungrily at the pigeons below. It was too cold to wait for him to strike.

  2. What an amazing picture of the ice-encased grass. It looks like something out of a fairytale.

    I cannot help feeling very concerned about the small birds. I imagine this heavy weather must have taken a serious toll. I cannot imagine how Ralph has managed to complete his daily walk, point his camera AND continue to have full use of his limbs. The images from the UK I have seen on the telly were appalling. And yet there is such a fairytale, winter wonderland air about Ralph's pictures.

    Love seeing so many robins! What makes it more comfortable to feed them with gloves? Do their tiny nails produce more force than they appear to?

    1. It's more comfortable to wear gloves because it's cold and my hands get frozen, that's all. Not even the extra sharp hooked claws of Nuthatches cause any discomfort.

    2. Agree with Tinuviel, the grass in ice is great the the fairytale quality of the birds and snow is beautiful.

  3. Beautiful images! My partner and I discovered your blog recently and we really enjoy your posts. Looking forward to Spring and the seeing what you discover when the days get warmer. :-)

  4. Thank you for your kind words.