Monday 1 December 2014

Four Jackdaws were in the Diana fountain enclosure, picking worms out of the turf. Two were amusing themselves by pestering a Herring Gull, which lost patience and chased them away.

There were another two between Kensington Palace and the Round Pond, a place where you can often see Jackdaws now. They are getting quite familiar, and one of them flew down right in front of me to be given a bit of biscuit. It is wonderful to have tese entertaining birds in the park again after 46 years' absence, and they really seem to have settled in.

The pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull was in the usual corner of the Serpentine near the Dell restaurant, trying out a new hunting technique of flying among a flock of pigeons and trying to grab one on the wing.

It was not successful while I was there. The bird is definitely experimenting with different methods: jumping down on a passing pigeon from the restaurant roof, chasing pigeons on foot, swooping down into a flock on the ground, and now this.

A Black-Headed Gull was playing with a fallen leaf. Most of the water birds seem to be interested in bright coloured leaves on the lake.

The Wren was back in the clump of irises in the Italian Garden. It is always in the same one, at the southwest corner.

A Nuthatch came down to take food off the railings of the leaf yard.

The Coal Tits were also there, and followed me for some distance, even out to the Little Owls' tree although there is nowhere there for me to put food down for them.

There was no sign of the Little Owls, and a pair of Egyptians were standing on their tree, making the usual din.

But the male Tawny Owl came out to his usual place on the horse chestnut tree.

As the days shorten he is coming out earlier in the afternoon. This picture was taken just after half past one.


  1. Interesting development with the Lesser Black Backed and intriguing picture. It has obviously not yet perfected the new technique because when I passed around 3 o' clock it was back on the ground still hunting. An hour later and it was still prowling around the ground looking for a meal. I think there are slim pickings at the moment because in the last week there's only been one occasion when I've seen it picking at a dead pigeon on the lake. Could the funfair/the weather/the dark be cramping its style and encouraging more innovative measures?

    1. The crowds around the funfair are attracting even more pigeons to the pavement near the Dell restaurant, and you would think that the gull would have quite an easy time. But something is cramping its style. Maybe the pigeons are moving around more, and therefore more alert. The gull has to take them by surprise, because a pigeon is quicker into the air than a big gull, and a straight rush will fail to nab one.

  2. Maybe he's not as fit and agile as he was due to over facing on pigeon meat? Sue

    1. I think he's in very good condition. The deep yellow colour of his legs is a sign of fitness, and he can run much faster than you would expect on his silly little feet.