Sunday, 31 August 2014

The two young Hobbies were perched together high in a plane tree near the Physical Energy statue, while one of their parents circled over the Round Pond.

Their usual food supply is running low, with few dragonflies still remaining and the Swallows, Swifts and House Martins off to Africa, but their new found skill of catching Parakeets will keep them well feduntil they decide to leave.

There was still one dragonfly, a Common Darter, chasing smaller insects over the little pond at the top of the Dell. These had also attracted the young Grey Wagtail.

Its bright yellow feathers are actually a good camouflage in this place, where they echo the colour of the lichen on the rocks. Incidentally, when I started coming to the park there was no lichen, because it can't grow in heavily polluted air. Things didn't improve until the Clean Air Act of 1957, which banned coal fires in London.

The two Great Crested Grebe families at the Serpentine island had got too close to each other, and there was a dispute though it didn't break into an outright fight. The chicks watched, learning how to be adults. This pair of adults have just pushed the invisible territorial frontier a few feet forward, and are congratulating each other.

After the fuss died down, it was back to fishing as usual.

This is one of the two Jays near the leaf yard that will take food from the hands of people they trust. You hold up a peanut in a place where there is a clear flight path, and the Jay glides down smoothly and grabs it in passing.

One of the Grey Herons had annoyed some gulls. A group of them, both Black-Headed and Lesser Black-Backed, chased it the full length of the Long Water. Here they are coming back from the bridge.

And this is one of the many young Robins in the Flower Walk. It is developing its red breast but still has speckled juvenile feathers on its head.


  1. Hi! I'm following your blog and I think its great, your photos are very good and there is such a variety of birds in Hyde Park...!
    I'm from Barcelona (Spain), and I'm going to London next week. I'll go to do some birdwatching on friday morning. As the park is huge, can you recomend me which areas are better for birdwatching?

    Thanks in advance,

    1. Kensington Gardens -- the west part of the park -- is a better place for small birds than Hyde Park -- the east part. The best place is probably the south side of the 'leaf yard', an enclosure that has the statue of Peter Pan on its east side, next to the lake. For water birds, just walk round the whole lake. The part of the lake in Hyde Park is better because you can walk along the edge of the water most of the way around.

      If you see anyone with binoculars and a camera with a long lens, ask them if they have seen anything interesting. The birdwatchers in the park are friendly and helpful.

  2. Thank you very much! I also love Peter Pan's book, so starting at his statue is perfect. I'm sure I will be asking if I find any birder, and specialy if I see someone that looks like you.
    I will also bring my camera, here is my collection of photos, I hope to be adding some of Hyde Park next week
    Thank you very much again,

    1. Lovely photographs -- I hope you get some more good ones in London.

      The statue of Peter Pan commemorates Barrie's book Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens, which you can read online here and see the original illustrations by Arthur Rackham. Look at the very last picture in the book, of the two stones which Barrie pretends are the tombstones of children. You will see some of these in Kensington Gardens. In fact they are parish boundary stones marking the borders of St Mary's Westminster (StM W or W StM) and Paddington Parish (PP).

      But don't follow the map in the book! It has only a slight resemblance to the park.