Friday, 18 March 2016

The new turf at the bottom of the Parade Ground was being watered, and the revolving sprays had driven the Redwings away. There was twittering at the nearby Lookout, which is the new wooden building used for educating children about nature. But it turned out to be a small flock of Goldfinches.

The Redwings turned up in Kensington Gardens, at the top of Buck Hill.

There was a Green Woodpecker on the grass underneath.

I sidled up to it with the camera in front of my face so it couldn't see the dreaded human eye, and was able to get quite close to it.

There was also a Song Thrush, but there was a better picture to be had of one in the shrubbery at the southeast corner of the bridge. Recent work here has left a large patch of freshly dug earth, in which it was looking for worms.

This Mistle Thrush was beside the roundabout at the north end of the West Carriage Drive, between the bicycle track and the horse track, and with cars roaring past a few feet away. It was not bothered by all the activity, realising as birds do that this was not directed at it, and was taking a break while hauling up a large worm which had to extracted in stages.

A small flock of Siskins was feeding in an alder tree beside the Long Water.

Two Little Owls came out, one in the oak near the Albert Memorial ...

... and the other in the lime near the Henry Moore sculpture.

The Black Swan was clearing some Mute Swans off his reed raft when he saw girlfriend number one flirting with another young swan.

He sailed over indignantly with wings raised to scare away the intruder, and followed his girlfriend closely to keep her from further foolishness.

This is the wooden ramp at the outflow of the Serpentine, where there is a weir with a drop of several feet. It was put in when Coots started nesting at the top of the weir and their chicks were all washed down and unable to climb up again. It didn't work. But Moorhens are much better climbers than Coots, and in fact they have nested at the bottom of the weir and their chicks have been able to climb out without a ramp. It looks as if a pair of Moorhens have decided to nest here again, and they were going in and out every few minutes.


  1. That's not flirting - that's frottage! :-)

    The green woodpeckers nest in the park too presumably?

    1. Yes. I photographed a juvenile near Queen's Gate on 23 and 25 July and 4 August last year.

  2. Hi Ralph, i wonder when normally you go to Hyde park for looking for birds? I want to find little owls but don't know what time they would come out for sunbathing or resting :/

    1. They don't have a schedule during the daytime. You just go past their tree again and again until one appears. But if you came in at dawn and were very lucky, you just might see one on the ground looking for worms and insects. I never have.

    2. I share your lack of success with observing little owls in action. For a species which is supposedly diurnal (or crepuscular perhaps) they rarely venture beyond their holes. I have to assume that the photographs one sees elsewhere on the web are mostly baited shots.

  3. Fantastic job getting so close to a Green Woodpecker.