Tuesday, 5 September 2017

A juvenile Green Woodpecker was searching for worms and insects in the grass on Buck Hill.

A Magpie foraged among the weeds near the bridge. It found a green caterpillar that tasted nasty, and spat it out. Then it looked for insects on the railings.

Starlings had found a half-eaten bit of cake at the Lido restaurant, and were eating it as fast as possible before the waiter cleared it away.

The supply of blackberries is running low, and the white-faced Blackbird near the Italian Garden is coming out of the bushes again to be given sultanas.

In the same place there is a Robin who comes to my hand and methodically collects four pine nuts before flying away.

Two Nuthatches came to take food from the railings of the leaf yard.

The strayed racing pigeon in the Rose Garden now expects to be fed, and trotted hopefully around my feet.

A Great Crested Grebe carried a fish to one of its three chicks on the Long Water.

Gadwalls were foraging over the submerged baskets of twigs next to the bridge.

You don't often see the pair of Sparrowhawks who pass over Kensington Gardens every morning, but there is plenty of evidence of the pigeons they kill. This sad remnant was on Buck Hill.

The Little Owl near the leaf yard was in her usual chestnut tree.

A Lesser Black-Backed Gull shooed away a couple of Black-Headed Gulls.

You don't realise how small a Black Swan is till you seen one among Canada Geese and they are larger. He was chased off by the dominant male Mute Swan at the east end of the Serpentine.


  1. The video clip of the black swan is great for allowing us to see the relative sizes of Canada goose and mature Mute swans. Nice clip!

  2. He really is small... his pluck and courage is all the more admirable in the face of the hulking opposition.

    I guess the racing pigeon is ready to have a new owner and be taken home!

    1. I don't think the racing pigeon wants an owner, at least not at the moment. He (and it is he) has spilt birdseed from the constantly refilled feeder, an ornamental fountain to drink and bathe in, and shelter under the bushes. The air smells of roses, whether that is pleasing to pigeons or not, and there are smaller pigeons to bully. However, he may change his mind when the weather gets colder. Wonder whether he can remember the way to his loft in Morden.

    2. Pigeons are more intelligent than five-year-old children, so they say, so I guess that is a yes.

    3. In London, Feral Pigeons have been seen regularly commuting on the Underground, always getting on and off at the same stations. Commuting is perhaps not a sign of intelligence in humans, but it saves the pigeons effort. By the way, I mean the Underground as opposed to the Tube: the Underground is the older cut-and-cover network and a bird can fly into the stations from outside. The Tube is in deep tunnels in central London, and not accessible to birds.

  3. Hi Ralph are you sure that was a caterpillar the Magpie dropped? It looks like the top of a seedhead of something like Broadleaf Plantain. Jim n.L.

    1. Quite possibly. Whatever it was, the Magpie didn't like it. You would have thought a seedhead would be quite palatable.

    2. Although I can't see anything physical to say it's a first year bird, it does seem rather a novice at foraging. I doubt that kind of seedhead would be palatable to a largely omnivorous bird, they are mostly green and bitter-looking. Jim