Tuesday, 2 September 2014

The first Wheatear to be seen in the park this year -- very late in the season -- was spotted by Duncan Campbell yesterday evening. The light was fading and he only had a small camera with him, but you can see that this is a male in his faded autumn colours.

The Hobbies are still with us, and the family were flying over Hyde Park this morning, calling loudly. Later one of the young ones flew into Kensington Gardens and perched on the usual plane tree while another circled overhead.

A remarkable picture taken by Paul Turner on 22 August shows one of the young Hobbies eating part of a Ring-Necked Parakeet brought by its parents. Even in this distant view -- he had the small lens on his camera -- you can clearly see the green feathers on the bloody morsel.

So the invasive parakeets are finding more predators. We have already seen a Tawny Owl eating one, and it is reported that Peregrines are taking them too.

The Little Grebe reappeared today in the middle of the Long Water. It wouldn't come any closer.

This is the single Great Crested Grebe chick from the west end of the island begging for food. The family are now ranging all round the Serpentine and may be found anywhere.

Amazingly, there are still seven ducklings in the brood of Mallards near the bridge, swimming around under the hungry eyes of the big gulls on the posts. Here their mother has just seen off one Coot and is about to deal with another.

A young Lesser Black-Backed Gull on the roof of one of the small boathouses was calling loudly and displaying at an adult. The adult took absolutely no notice of this yelling juvenile, and after a while it gave up and flew away.


  1. The Grebe family you mention paid the Peter Pan coot's nest a visit yesterday and the mother at the third attempt managed to drag out a small fish from the structure. I think the coot watching from the nest (do they never give up?) was also impressed. But the chick was out of luck. Its mother ignored the non-stop begging and swallowed it herself.
    Congratulations on the parakeet-eating raptors observations. An interesting development. And welcome?

    1. Everyone I talk to says Hooray, at last something's eating the parakeets. I'm almost beginning to feel sorry for them.