Friday 18 October 2013

There was a Kestrel in a tree on the east side of the Long Water, and Paul Turner got an excellent picture of him.

There have not been many sightings of Kestrels this year. There used to be a reliable one, also male, that could often be seen to the west of the Albert Memorial, but the disturbance from the constant building and demolition of huge exhibition marquees here has driven him away. I don't think this is the same bird, as he is very pale and has a faint 'moustachial stripe' below his eye, and only his grey head marks him out as a male.

Another return is the one-legged Black-Headed Gull, seen here beside the Serpentine on the roof of one of the small boathouses.

It recognised me and flew down to be fed. It makes up for its disability by being remarkably agile in the air, even by the standards of small gulls, and can always catch a piece of biscuit thrown in its general direction. The other gull I know and feed , EY09813, is rather bad at catching things in midair.

Paul also saw and photographed a fox again, probably the same one, looking at him through the railings on the lake side of the Henry Moore statue.

No rabbits have been seen in this area for a while, and no wonder. They seem to have moved a couple of hundred yards to the north, and can often be seen in the clearing next to Rudolf Steiner's bench.

The Great Crested Grebes, having replaced their flight feathers, are now moulting their other feathers and beginning to change into their plain winter plumage. This one has almost completely lost the ginger feathers of its 'lappets' (the lower part of its elaborate headgear), and won't recover them until early spring next year.

The female Little Owl was in the usual chestnut tree when we first visited it, but was visibly agitated and hopped from foot to foot for a few seconds before flying out of the far side of the tree and disappearing into a nearby lime. When I returned, the male owl was in almost the same place as she had been, and gave me a world-weary look through half closed eyes.


  1. fascinating info ralph. thanks very much. i've only ever seen foxes in the area next to the lake between serpentine bridge and the vista behind railings and bold as brass as ever. in good condition they are so beautiful. will keep an eye out for our one-legged gull!!
    MArk W2

  2. I love your daily blogs Ralph and your fascination with the birds you encounter is palpable. Keep at it. Thank you. Linda

  3. Thank you both for your kind words.