Saturday 24 October 2015

The Egyptian Goose family at the Round Pond was down to four when I went past, and I thought the mother had done a reasonable job in keeping four out of six after several days of exposure to big gulls, crows and dogs. I took a routine photograph. But just as I walked away, so did she, and took off and flew over to another group of Egyptians a hundred yards away, leaving her young exposed and defenceless. At once a Lesser Black-Backed Gull flew in and carried one of them off, pursued by a Carrion Crow.

This sad scene is a reminder that Egyptian Geese aren't real geese. They are related to Shelducks, and often show a duck's carelessness in looking after their young. No Greylag or Canada would have permitted such a thing.

A fish also met a violent end under the bridge when it was caught by a Great Crested Grebe. But somehow one doesn't feel so sorry about them.

There was a huge Great Black-Backed Gull on the Serpentine.

The Black Swan was preening itself on the south shore.

The white Mallard is quite a tough customer. People were throwing bred to the geese and swans, and he strolled into the mob and grabbed some from a Black-Headed Gull. But with the next piece of bread, the gull won.

Some crows were chasing a small raptor above the leaf yard. At the time it looked so much smaller than the crows that I thought it was a Kestrel, but the photograph shows that it is a Sparrowhawk, presumably a male as they are much smaller than females.

There were six Jackdaws in the Diana fountain enclosure, looking for worms and bickering amiably and flying around.

A Blackbird was eating yew berries near the Henry Moore sculpture. To his annoyance, he dropped one. But there are plenty more.

The female Little Owl was well hidden near the top of this year's nest tree.


  1. Poor little baby... the Egyptians are truly helpless.

    That huge marinus looks like the very picture of brute force. They would be admirable, if they weren't so intimidating.

    1. It's strange about that pair of Egyptians. They brought up one brood perfectly well at a very unsuitable time last winter, and have now had two more and made a complete mess of it, as if they had forgotten how. And yes, it is the same pair -- Virginia keeps an eye on them.

  2. By 4pm today the little owls were nowhere to be seen. The tedious ritual of hordes of visitors feeding the parakeets had, for some reason, moved from its usual place close to the footpath, to take place right beneath this, and last, years owl nest trees. There were dozens of parakeets in the two trees making an appalling din. I sincerely hope this won't become a regular occurrence.

    1. The parakeets don't seem to bother the owls. But people do.