Sunday, March 13, 2011

A day in Hydepark

It was just another day in Grey London, Cold and Windy with a hesitant tentative sun. Perfect we decided, for a walk :). And so all bundled up we found ourselves in Hyde Park.
Hyde Park is one of the Royal Parks and has a long and colourful history going back all the way to Henry Viii, when it served as a private hunting ground. Changing hands among the important British families of the time , it finally was made a public park. The park also served as a platform for mass demonstrations in times of war and peace, most famous among them being the 'Stop the War' protest against the Iraq war of 2003. Between Chartism, a very important movement to reform the politics of its era and The Reform league, pushing for the ballot being more inclusive, the Park truly was power to the people!

We of course had other more pressing matters to attend to! The Serpentine which snakes its way through the park is full of Birds! The Serpentine is a recreational lake and was created in 1730.
We were the outsiders , but the birds didn't mind having us around... (Very inclusive I must say :))

Greylag Geese, Keep watch over the lake :)
The Greylag geese , are predecessors of the now common domesticated geese. Also known as the Wild Goose, their greyish brown bodies stood erect watching the action on the waters. These geese are now found only in Scotland , specifically in the Outer Heberdies . This news excites me and am really hoping to see them on our trip to Scotland thats soon coming up. They were the subjects of a study on imprinting. (I first heard this term while watching a falconry show. Among the birds there was an owl which had almost entirely grown up amongst humans and the person conducting the show warned that the imprint did not recognise humans as the top predator, having grown amongst us and so was not scared to attack ! )

Canada Geese 
A twosome of Canada geese swim past. They of the black head and beautiful plumage , are also migratory like the Greylag geese. The difference between the two species is striking. Among the two the Canada goose definitely is more elegant.

Watching the Sun set from Serpentine Bridge..
The sun begins to set. We linger on..
Mute Swans , Coots, and Tufted Ducks
A Mute swan casually glides past. The not very flattering adjective 'Mute' is just to say that this particular specie is less vocal than others in the swan family.I love the colours , especially the striking orange beak and the white body which is soo graceful in flight.
Coots are supposedly omnivores. Something about the way their heads end seems a little abrupt :).
But make no mistake, black and white are prime plumage!. The others of the black and white kind are the tufted ducks. Among all the ducks I've seen this one is my favorite. Small and beautifully crafted, nature can seem partial to some of her creations. I make a mental note to get better pictures the next time we visit
A beautiful Mute Swan..

Is it only us that seem so affected by the cold. It definitely seem so. The birds don't seem to care . Joggers  , some people walking dogs.. The owners all huddled up, the dogs totally excited by the chill air, barking at the birds. We wish we could linger on. But we would return we decide, maybe in Summer :)



  1. Nice photos! Hope you see more during your trip to Scotland!

  2. Lovely post. Imagine being grey all over save a bright orange beak. It's as if nature crafted the orange beak so it would contrast so dramatically with the grey plumage and bring focus on the latter!

    Watching birds out there must bring so much serenity to the day out in the park.

  3. Really liked your picture 'Watching the sunset...' The experience of a Park takes on another meaning when you know that it has had a long past and so many different people have walked here. Your introduction paragraph was so interesting to read!

  4. @Anil - Thanks :). Thats so true of all of nature don't you think. The green of a parrot against its red beak, the peacock's plumage, and even the pedestrain raven..Truly beautiful all of them!

  5. @IB - Thanks :). Its one of my favourite pics too.
    Soo true what you say about places... History makes even seemingly ordinary places come alive...:)



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