Friday 12 December 2014

The Jackdaws at Kensington Palace no longer have to be searched for. They come out and stand in front of you, expecting a piece of digestive biscuit. There is nothing like a bit of bribery for getting birds to pose for their photograph.

The Egyptian Goose family at the Round Pond, now reduced to seven young, were carrying on as normal. Birds are not sentimental.

There were three Green Woodpeckers on the Archery Field again. As usual, they were in the hollow at the south end of the field, which remains mostly undisturbed except on Sunday afternoons when the archers are practising, using its slope to intercept stray arrows since being shot tends to spoil people's day.

Two Nuthatches came down to be fed on the railing of the leaf yard. There are probably more than this pair here, since two pairs nested in this area earlier this year.

There was a small crowd of mixed Song Thrushes and Mistle Thrushes at the top of Buck Hill. There are still a few fallen rowan berries under the tree, and the largely untrodden grass is a rich source of worms. But I haven't seen any more Redwings or Fieldfares here.

The male Tawny Owl came out on his usual perch in mid-afternoon.

There was an unusual sight on the Serpentine near the island. A Grey Wagtail came streaking past at full speed pursued by a Black-Headed Gull. It was not flying in its usual relaxed undulating way but was running for its life. It rushed into the bushes on the island where it was safe from attack.

A few minutes later I found it on the other side of the lake, none the worse for its fright and hunting along the shore.

I wonder what it had done to annoy the gull. Maybe it had just run too close to it on the edge of the water.


  1. The woodpeckers and nuthatches are stunning. I saw a greenfinch on our bird feeder today. Very handsome green with a streak of yellow. Some red kites performed a fly-past as I walked into the village (in the Thames Valley).

    1. Thanks. We are really beginning to get Red Kites seriously here, coming down the Thames valley into London, and I think that in five years they will be a common sight. To some extent, I think, they are coming down the M40 rather than the Thames itself, as they have an appetite for roadkill.

    2. Yes, that's right about the roadkill. I think they were reintroduced into the Chilterns, north of where I live, then gradually crept south. They are a magnificent sight - sometimes 10 circling together over my village! Their wing colouring, tail shape and loud cries are very distinctive :)

    3. I think they came to the Chilterns from Wales, where they were first reintroduced.

  2. No, the Chilterns was the very first red kite reintroduction site ( I remember it) and I am pretty certain that none have been reintroduced into Wales.

  3. The full story is here: