Monday 7 November 2016

A Redwing visited the rowan trees on Buck Hill.

The female Blackcap was also there. They eat berries as well as insects, but so far I haven't been able to catch her with one.

The Nuthatches in the leaf yard were coming down for their usual snacks. This one is in a typical Nuthatch pose, facing down but looking up.

The Blue Tits were also very hungry on a cold morning.

A couple of Jays turned up and were rewarded with peanuts.

Two Grey Wagtails flew past Peter Pan, and one of them landed on a post.

If you sit at an outside table at the Lido restaurant you are besieged by Starlings. These people were not feeding them, and indeed tried to shoo them away from time to time, but they always came back.

A gang of Carrion Crows mobbed what at first sight we thought was a Common Buzzard over the Long Water. Sorry, this is a terrible photograph, as the event took me by surprise and I didn't get the camera focused in time for a closer view.

Update: Opinion is that it's a Red Kite, not a Buzzard. Hard to be sure from this picture.

A Cormorant was washing by the Serpentine island.

A young Great Crested Grebe was fishing under the platform of Bluebird Boats. Fish collect in the shade of the platform, believing themselves to be safe, but you're never safe from a grebe.

The white -- or rather, cream coloured -- Mallard was poking around some floating dead leaves.

Common Gulls are slightly too large to perch securely on the buoys at the Lido, which tend to tip over so that they have to flap to keep their balance.

The Black-Headed Gull on the right of this group has a plastic ring coded E2RZ. It's a Dutch gull and returns to the Serpentine every year.


  1. I think I'd pay extra for a chance to have some Starlings harass me while I eat my lunch ... How can one look at those wonderfully shiny mimics and not say 'here, have my lunch!'.

    1. Me too. Cake is their favourite thing, and it is churlish to deny them a few crumbs.

  2. Were you able to positively ID the Buzzard? Proportions look more like some other raptors in that picture. Jim

    1. Three of us thought it was a Common Buzzard. At that distance all I could see was that there were paler bits at the outer ends of the wings. Can't rule out a Red Kite.

    2. If not red kite then marsh harrier maybe? Do any frequent the London area?

    3. Was wondering about that too. There are some as close as Rainham Marshes.

    4. I would say Marsh Harrier or Goshawk. I saw a similar kind of bird over Wallington a few days days ago and got a clear view, showing a clear Marsh Harrier.
      That picture however looks like a Goshawk also as the general shape looks like a hawk.
      Hard to tell though.
      Either way its a good record i assume!

    5. Of those two I would settle for a Marsh Harrier. I definitely saw pale bits of the underside of the wings, but not clearly enough to be sure of the pattern.

    6. Sounds about right.
      That's a very good record!
      Must say I admire your Nuthatch picture!
      Inch perfect!

  3. Tricky. I'd have expected a narrowing of the wings mid-wing in a kite, but on the other hand the tail looks much too long to be a buzzard. if you can see pale patches on the wing-ends in poor light that argues for kite, where those should be much more prominent; but buzzards, in my long-ish experience, are very variable in colour terms (up there with 'Russula cyanoxantha' . . .). My rule of thumb is to claim the less rare bird, but in Hyde Park either would be a bit of a find!