Beautiful Kensington Gardens

Kensington Gardens is my local park... famous for being home to the hideous Diana Memorial Fountain as well as the grace and favour Palace she lived in courtesy of the taxpayer. However, you shouldn't let that put you off. Kensington Gardens is one of London's most beautiful parks, and contrary to most people's expectations of Central London, it teems with wildlife.

Any time is a good time to visit the Gardens... even a stinking wet windy day in February means you'll have peace and quiet like no other time. In summer, the park is particularly beautiful, but it gets very crowded with sunbathers. All in all, autumn is my favourite time to come down here, especially of a chilly Saturday afternoon in late November, when the leaves have started to turn...

Kensington Gardens, November 2005

Mostly, we like to feed the birds when we're down here. They gather in huge flocks at the Pond when someone turns up with some stale bread or cakes and mob them. We find that fun. My friend Chris deals with the bread, and I take the pictures. Our favourite birds are the Little Gulls. These are delightful birds which come down here from Finland and Russia to winter. They are tremendously agile, capable of hovering for some seconds, and are brilliant hunters in the air. They also like seem to like eating our stale toast!

Eating toast, December 2005

Of course, the moment of victory follows a long period of cruising, jostling with your pals for position, waiting for your moment to strike...

Cruising, December 2005

...or gliding high, observing those curious two legged creatures from above.

Soaring, December 2005

Of course, we're not the only people who like to feed the birds. When these kitchen porters from a local hotel turned up one day just as the sun was setting, with a whole sackful of stale cakes, this little fellow proved me could outdo even the gulls for agility.

Hovering, November 2005

They look pretty sitting down too!

Hanging Out, December 2005

Other park birds, like these ducks, prefer to just chill out on the water.

Floating, November 2005

While the swans decide the setting sun is well over the yardarm - time for a drink.

Sunset swans, November 2005

Other swans are too in love to pay attention to any of that.

Lovers, November 2005

Of course, there are plenty of other animals in the park. Some of the squirrels are so spoiled by being fed by the many tourists in the gardens, the come up close to find food.

Perching, November 2005

Others regard us more warily.

Warily observing, November 2005

All and all, a nice way to spend a Saturday afternoon when the ham bands are quiet.

Last updated 20 December 2005. Go back.