Tuesday 13 January 2015

There was a Scaup on the Round Pound -- not a rare bird, but a very infrequent visitor to the park, and the last time I saw one here was in 2003.

This is a first-winter male, just beginning to develop the fine white and black herringbone pattern on his back. It was its second day on the pond, but I missed it yesterday.

While I was here I met Tony Duckett, who runs the excellent Regent's Park Birds blog. He is now supervising the wildlife in three parks, including ours, and for the first time in some years it looks as if we are going to get some improvements. Already something is happening in the Long Water: the scruffy reed bed next to the Italian Garden is being tidied up and irises planted. I spoke to the workmen and they say they are going to make a new nesting place for the Mute Swans that will be safe from foxes.

Also planned, if funds are available, are a new reed bed in the Long Water and a replacement for the failed tern raft, which was never finished and is now sinking. A properly made raft with stones and a shelter should attract the Common Terns which regularly visit the lake in spring and summer.

Also at the Round Pond, two of the young Egyptian Geese made a short flight. This took me completely by surprise, so all I can offer you is a hasty blurred shot of them landing.

A Common Gull was playing with an empty packet of raisins.

On the Serpentine island a Herring Gull was eaten a pigeon.

There was still quite a lot of meat on it, so it was not the leavings of the well known pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull. The Herring Gull may have snatched the pigeon from the other gull, or it may actually have killed it itself. This is something to keep an eye on.

On the railing of the Lido jetty there were four kinds of gull side by side: a second-winter Herring Gull beginning to grow its pale grey adult feathers, three Black-Headed Gulls, a Lesser Black-Back and, at the far end, a Common Gull.

A feeder in the Dell had just been filled and was attracting a lively squabbling crowd of Starlings.

The male Tawny Owl was in his usual station.

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