Friday 27 October 2017

A Rose-Ringed Parakeet ate yellow berries in a tree by the bridge.

Just down the path, Charlie and Melissa the Carrion Crows waited on twin tree stumps for their treat of peanuts.

Some horrible person has stolen the feeder near the fountain in the Rose Garden for at least the third time. One of the local Dunnock pair had moved to another feeder so far not yet found by the thief, and was picking up spilt birdseed on the ground underneath.

The Little Owl was enjoying the sunshine on her favourite branch.

A hoverfly was also basking on a dandelion. I think it's Syrphus ribesii, which doesn't have an English name. It's male, as you can tell from its closely spaced eyes.

A rat was digging in the Dell. Perhaps it was trying to unearth a nut buried by a Jay.

A Shoveller drake preened at the Vista, showing off his iridescent green feathers.

The Black Swan was also preening at the east end of the Serpentine.

Then a visit to St James's Park to try to see a Kingfisher, which we did but only for a moment as it flashed past, with no chance of a photograph.

There are three Black Swans on the lake there.

This is one of the Bar-Headed Geese that often visit us, usually at the east end of the Serpentine or on the Round Pond.

This Greylag Goose with white patches and blue eyes may be another Greylag--domestic cross. It is on the small side for a Greylag, unlike the huge bird in Hyde Park, but both have blue eyes.

There were 16 Gadwall pairs, far more than we ever get. They have been given breeding boxes in the garden of Buckingham Palace, only 100 yards away.

The St James's Park Coots are still occupying well maintained nests ...

... and bringing twigs to build them up. This park is where Coots were deliberately introduced to central London in the 1920s by putting eggs in Moorhen nests. Since then they have bred massively and far outnumber Moorhens.

St James's Park also has plenty of Little Grebes. The lake is regularly stocked with small fish for the White Pelicans, which attracts them, and also Kingfishers.

It's impossible to go to St James's Park without taking a picture of the famous view northeast from the bridge, with the plain classical front of the Horse Guards, the domes of the old War Office building, and the spires of the National Liberal Club.


  1. Was the light particularly good for photographs today? Splendid pictures.
    Do you know if there are pelicans still in St. James's? (they're still advertised on their website, but I once went there in the rain to see them being fed, some months ago, though- no pelicans. )
    By the way , the video only shows like this :
    and you can't click on it. But again , that may be my comp.

  2. Yes, there are 3 pelicans in the park. Although they spend much of their time at ‘Pelican Rock’, they can also be seen fishing together all over the lake

    1. Are they still being fed at certain times, do you know? (when not fishing!)

    2. Sorry about the video, my fault after a long day. Corrected now. I believe that the pelicans are still fed at some times by Malcolm, the Wildlife Officer for the Royal Parks, but I don't know when. Also, Malcolm is retiring in December and we don't know whether his successor will keep it up. He will be much missed. He is leaving because he is fed up with the park management.

    3. I’ve seen them being fed at around 2.30pm. The local Herons and Cormorants always hang around too, hoping for scraps!
      Sad news about Malcolm retiring

    4. thanks for the rat video; nice to see him in action!

    5. Rats are useful scavengers in a park where food scraps are tossed everywhere.

  3. I'd really like to see pelicans in real life. They are one of my favourite birds, but I've never seen them outside of a zoo. And I'm sure I am in the minority, but zoos make me depressed.

    There is something about Ralph that Black Swans find very congenial, it seems.

    Splendid picture of the Little Grebe!

    1. I've seen wild urban pelicans in San Francisco. They really are quite a sight.