Tuesday 15 November 2016

Two Mallard drakes were fighting at the Vista.

A Shoveller looked on serenely.

A young Great Crested Grebe did absolutely nothing, with a certain style.

A Carrion Crow had a brisk wash in the Round Pond.

The brown object this Coot is holding is an ash key. These large nutritious seeds are eaten by many birds, including Great Tits and Chaffinches.

A male Chaffinch in the rowan trees on Buck Hill preferred the pips of the fruits, spitting out the sweet pulp.

But Mistle Thrushes gladly eat the whole fruit.

A flock of Long-Tailed Tits went by.

A Starling at the Lido restaurant was ready for its close-up.

It posed obligingly in front of the Go-Pro camera for half a minute while the owner videoed it by remote control. This is a good way of getting close-ups without frightening the bird -- but only if it stays in shot.

The pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull and his mate were calling loudly on the roof of the Dell restaurant.

The edge of the roof of this peculiar building seriously needs maintenance. It was one of two restaurants of a striking modern design that were built in the 1960s. The other one, with an outside formed of a row of octahedrons, was on the south side of the Serpentine near the bridge. It only lasted a few years before it was demolished. I don't know whether this was because it was structurally unsound or just uneconomic.

This Black-Headed Gull is from Denmark. It has been seen in the park in previous years.

Two Cormorants were drying their wings amicably side by side on the baskets of water plants at the edge of the island.

These baskets have never done well, unlike the reed rafts at the east end of the Serpentine which are a dense mass of plants -- maybe something to do with the choice of plants, or perhaps the artificial mat in the bottom of the basket that acts as a substitute for soil.


  1. Dear Ralph,yesterday I posted a message here but for some reason my post couldn't go thru. I am a long time follower of your great blogs on Hyde Park Birds I am also a frequent park visitor. I thought of asking something hope to hear your suggestions. I know your blogs are mostly about birds I am sorry if this is out of topic.

    I see this man he comes to Hyde Park to hunt/kill squirrels using his dog. He would instruct his dog to kill squirrels. I and other people seen him many times in past three month.

    He would come to this particular location of the park, (the narrow path by Italian Gardens that lies between Marlbourough Gate and Lancaster Gate) someone told me the area is called "The North Flower Walk" that is where he comes to hunt. I believe he chooses that area as it is quieter part of the park.

    I don't know if hunting is allowed in England but the way he does the killing is so horrible. He can be heard instructing his dog " be quite" "quite" "shhhhh" "shhhhhh" so the squirrel doesn't hear any sounds? He and his dog then would walk so quietly until they are close to the squirrel then he would instruct his dog by saying "act" "now" "go"...if the dog catches the squirrel he would praise his dog saying" good boy!" if the dog misses the squirrel he would say" damiit"

    I seen him every time I go to that particular part of the park he is performing the same act. The times I see him is sometimes in morning hours some days in the afternoon. Most days he comes alone ( him and his dog only) but sometimes he comes with his girlfriend. His girlfriend also would be laughing and encouraging his cruel hunting acts.

    One day I confronted him asked him politely what he would gain by killing poor animal in such a horrible ways he was very aggressive to me I left the park upset.

    He would get very aggressive to anyone who told him to stop. There are also two other older woman (also a regular park visitors) also distraught by his cruel hunting activity. One woman called Natalie also a regular park visitor she has a lot of health problems she said this is adding additional stress to her. Yesterday I spoke to her she said she is unable to sleep for days since she keep finding dead squirrels at that particular locations. Natalie has a lot of health problems walking and feeding squirrel she said would make her feel better she goes to the park ( that particular area of the park ) three or four days a week to walk or feed squirrels. It must be very upsetting to her to experience this cruel activities every time. She said she loves the park but she is considering of stop going there as it is too much for to her to witness such barbaric acts towards helpless animals. There is also another older woman said she confronted the man once and he was aggressive towards her.

    The man often targets baby squirrels as they are often confused unable to run fast but he would target any squirrel that would be either digging the ground or if far from the tree. And it seems he trained his dog so well so he doesn't miss any squirrels.

    I called RSPCA they said they will look into this.I also emailed the Park about but I wonder if there is anything else I can do apart from emailing the park?

    I have managed to take a photo of a man and his dog (from behind) It is not a good photo as I was shaking in fear by the time I taken the photo but at least it gives good details of what type of dog he uses to hunt.

    I could share that photo with you so in case if it help. Any suggestions you would give will be much appreciated.

    Many Thanks Ralph...


    1. Thar's horrible why are some people so ignorant to know that there are other things in live, [ which are frankly more worthy than theirs.]

      Hope this savage monster gets caught, and thank you for doing something about it.

    2. Hi Lillian. This article may interest you:


      In essence, it is legal to kill grey squirrels in this country but it has to be done humanely. Using dogs to hunt squirrels would not be considered humane I imagine. The individual concerned would probably need a licence to kill squirrels legally in a Royal Park.

    3. Hi Dom,Thanks for the article, its interesting to learn the laws regarding killing squirrels in UK. The way this man does the hunting is he does it for pleasure his targets often are baby squirrels or a squirrel far from tree. The squirrel would be looking for food or trying to hide food far from tree the man would then instruct his dog to act. It is the most horrific thing to witness really. The park Officer said they don't allow such hunting inside the park but the man comes everyday to the park to hunt squirrels.

    4. I, frankly, think that the killing of any wild animal should be illegal.
      Licence or no licence.

  2. Hi Arjun,yes its very disturbing.That part of the park is often quite private area the man chooses it for a reason so he can't be seen.
    The man is still coming to the park with the same dog to hunt as of today and I have not heard anything back from the Park either. RSPCA said they will look into it The Park officer said they will pass my email. I don't know what else could be done apart from just waiting email reply from the park.The dog he uses to hunt is Standard Poodle with white/greysh color very fast dog well trained to hunt.

    1. Lillian, I saw your message. It gave your email address, so I wrote to you and deleted the message, because if you leave a working email address on the web it may be picked up by a bot and used to send you spam. Note sure whether you got the message.

      Anyway, quite apart from the digustingness of the man's behaviour, it's illegal. So the next time you see the man you should retire to a safe distance where you can keep an eye on him and ring the parks police at 0300 061 2000. They are the people to deal with this, and usually they arrive on the scene pretty quickly. It would be best if you can get a photograph that actually shows him in the act, and shows his face. It doesn't have to be taken from all that nearby, so you can get behind a bush for cover. Only do this if you are safely hidden and unobserved, of course -- don't take a risk. But evidence is everything in these cases.

    2. Thank You Ralph,I also sent you email sorry I posted twice here without checking my email. I have a photograph evidence of the man and his dog, the photo is not good quality but it gives good details of the man and the type of dog he uses to hunt. I have sent you the photos as attachment. I have seen the man countless times in that particular area of the park in last three months I believe he comes everyday at the same area to hunt.

      That number is the one I called they are the one told me to write email to the Park which I did. I will ring the number tomorrow again ask weather they have passed my email to a relevant department. Yes I will be careful thank you. The man is very aggressive to anyone who interrupt his hunting.. I found it very distressing to go back to that part of the park again but I will go and do what you suggested, I will try take another evidence photo of him from the face may be. I am not sure I will be capable of taking video or photo evidence as he perform the killing but I will try do something to provide good evidence.Thanks again Ralph.

  3. This is horrid. I hope the police gets him and he gets exemplary punishment.