Friday 29 May 2015

The wandering Barnacle Goose has returned to the park. Virginia Grey found and photographed it at the Round Pond. No one knows where it comes from, but it has been a regular visitor for several years.

Probably it has come to find a place where it can moult its wing feathers, which will make it flightless for several weeks. A lot of other geese have also arrived in the past few days. Here is a party of Canadas coming in.

What a pity that the lake has been turned into an ugly, noisy industrial zone full of machinery by the triathlon. This wretched event is now an annual blight on the park, as huge and disruptive as the winter funfair. The management have forgotten that parks are places where city dwellers come to relax, and have turned the place into a venue for commercial events.

Not only Hyde Park but also Kensington Gardens is constantly churned up by these affairs. There is another hideous giant marquee going up next to the Albert Memorial. This Mistle Thrush, displaced by the disturbance, had moved north towards the Round Pond, an area where I had never seen one before.

The edge of the pond was busy with Pied Wagtail families. I think they nest on the roof of the main block of Kensington Palace, where I have seen them flying in and out. There would be plenty of niches in the old brickwork here that would suit their taste for nest sites. This one is nimbly leaping out of the way of a wave breaking on the kerb.

The pair of Coots that have been trying to build a nest against a post near Peter Pan are at it again. They drag out bits of branch so large that they both have to carry them, drape them over the submerged chain attached to the post, and hope that they will stay there and can become the foundation for a nest. Inevitably the branches slide off and float away.

The Moorhen nest on the reed raft at the east end of the Serpentine is a much more practical affair, on a stable base and well protected by foliage.

A Blackbird near the Flower Walk was in a puddle, apparently having a drink. But it turned out that there was food on offer too, when he pulled a worm out of the water.

The female Little Owl was sitting out in the pair's nest tree, and allowed me to get quite close to photograph her. Normally this nervous bird rushes into her hole before you get within fifty yards of her.


  1. I wholeheartedly agree with you Ralph about the massive disruption caused in Hyde Park with the annual triathlon and the suffering wildlife who are trying to nest and bring up their families. As you say, the parks are suppose to be a wildlife haven for both wildlife and the public in this overcrowded part of London. The wildlife are struggling to find somewhere to nest but everywhere is being fenced off to them and they then get it wrong and try to nest on top of a post in full view of hungry gulls, herons and curious boat occupants.

  2. And we agree with you both on this! we are regulars to the parks and enjoy the wildlife. when they did the Olympics our parks were in a total mess for months and the wildlife were very much disturbed by it all! why cant they do these sporting events outside of London where nothing ever happens instead of in our busy city which is already over crowded!