Wednesday 27 September 2017

A Little Grebe had flown up to the Round Pond to fish. Virginia sent me some excellent pictures of it standing on the solar panel platform ...

... and admiring its reflection.

She said it wasn't catching much, but it had been on the Round Pond for two days in preference to the Long Water, where there are lots of fish and we see the Great Crested Grebes feeding them to their chicks. If a fish is too large for a Little Grebe to swallow, it shakes the fish to pieces and then eats it.

One of the Little Grebe chicks from the Long Water dived. This picture was taken straight down from the bridge parapet.

The Black Swan was on the Serpentine, calling in his musical voice.

A Gadwall drake looked very smart in his understated way.

In the enclosure of the Diana fountain, a Herring Gull pattered its feet to simulate the sound of rain, and thus bring up worms. Herring Gulls and Common Gulls do this dance, but I've never seen a Lesser Black-Backed Gull doing it, in spite of their often being in the same place as a dancing Herring Gull. This clip was shot at a distance over the fence. It's remarkable that at the end of September it was warm enough to create a heat haze.

A Peregrine was on the Household Cavalry barracks again, for the whole time I was in the park.

There were several Pied Wagtails hunting for insects on a patch of dead grass killed by having a concert stage on it for a couple of weeks. The surface is easier for the birds to run on than live grass, and the number of insects seems to be unaffected.

A Carrion Crow took possession of the Lido restaurant weathervane, evicting the Starlings that usually perch on it.

Several Mistle Thrushes flew into the rowan trees on Buck Hill to eat the fruit.

The Little Owl at the leaf yard was looking out of her hole, ready to dart in at a moment's notice ...

... as there were Magpies banging around in her tree.

Another picture from Virginia, and a remarkable one. An eastern European girl had brought four painted pigeons into the park in a pet carrier box, and was showing them off on the bridge, gathering quite a crowd. She travels around Europe with the birds.


  1. Charming Little Grebe pictures, thank you. But then these delightful birds just can't help being charming!

  2. Wow, I didn't knew such pretty pigeons existed. Did the girl say anything else about what she does? Is she a pigeon fancier?

    I wonder what Greeks would have made of Black Swans, had they had the chance to find one. The whole melodiously singing swan would have made all the sense.

    1. All I know about the girl is what I heard from Virginia. But I think she was using them as a show to raise money.

      Perhaps the idea of a black swan as the impossible bird existed before Juvenal put it into his poem.

    2. Speaking of swans, with all the ugliness going down in the world this little clip almost made me cry of joy:

    3. It's unusual to see these moody birds actually happy. But I wonder how they got the swan's mate over to see her released from her travelling straitjacket.