Friday, 24 June 2016

The pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull was hunting in his usual spot near the Dell restaurant. He ran through a crowd of pigeons, scattering them ...

... seized one as it tried to fly away ...

... and killed it in the lake.

He finishes them off in a few seconds now by a quick bite to the neck, so he doesn't have to drown them and the struggle is mercifully shorter (for the pigeon, that is -- gulls don't do mercy).

Just along the restaurant terrace, two Moorhens were fighting while their mates looked on.

There are also two pairs of Moorhens nesting in one of the Italian Garden ponds, but it was a peaceful scene. The chicks have hatched in one of the nests and their parents were feeding them.

There is another new family on the Serpentine. A pair of Coots have nested out of sight under the platform of Bluebird Boats.

The goose nursery east of the Lido was as active as ever, with four families of Greylags on the shore and in the water.

The Canada family were out of sight on the grassy bank inside the Lido swimming area, which is now closed to the non-paying public.

The Black Swan was also unphotographable, as he was working his way up the edge of the Lido restaurant terrace touting for food, and I would have had to evict people from their tables to get a picture.

The Bar-Headed Goose was on the north shore of the Serpentine. Its new wing feathers have started to emerge.

The drakes of all the duck species on the lake are looking tatty as they go into eclipse. But the females are as smart as ever. Here a Mallard preens her wings, showing off her fine iridescent blue secondaries.

The male Little Owl was on his usual branch in the chestnut tree.

Only one of the owlets was visible, in the other chestnut.

A male Black-Tailed Skimmer dragonfly was sunning himself on a grass stem near the bridge.


  1. "Killer seagull strikes again". Daily Mail? News picture agency? Seems like you have enough for a picture story there Ralph. Jim n.L.

    1. The Daily Mail has had one go at this, and that should be enough for the short attention span of journalists.

    2. Not necessarily. Silly season is upon us and what are they to do now the bendy carrot ban stories will be no more? Jim

  2. That Gull has been measurably and visibly perfecting its technique. Too damn intelligent by half.

    I would love to see a picture of the Black Swan making the rounds of the tables asking for food. He is such a charmer that doubtlessly few would resist.

    1. Will try to get this. Some of the waterside tables need to be vacant so that I can lean over the edge.