Thursday 26 October 2017

Mistle Thrushes have returned to the rowan trees on Buck Hill, after taking no notice of the tempting fruit for days. But there are not many of them in the park, and it seems that the large arrival a couple of months ago has moved on somewhere else.

They were joined by several Blackbirds.

A Wood Pigeon preferred the berries of a California bay tree in the North Flower Walk (which is the fenced-off area on the edge of the park near Lancaster Gate, and has few flowers in it).

Tom sent me this picture of a Great Spotted Woodpecker on Buck Hill, taken yesterday. They are hard to see at the moment, with most of the leaves still on the trees.

The Grey Wagtail was again on the raft at the east end of the Serpentine.

On the roof of the Dell restaurant, the pigeon-killing Lesser Black-Backed Gull crept up behind a group of Feral Pigeons ...

... causing panic.

Sometimes when Black-Headed Gulls do their display with wings akimbo and moaning calls they seem to be rivals, but this pair were harmoniously in step.

The ring on the gull at the left of the picture, EX63684, was put on by Roy Sanderson ten years ago. Black-Headed Gulls are long-lived birds, routinely reaching 30.

A Common Gull chased a Black-Headed Gull over the Round Pond.

The Greylag Goose with a white forehead and blue eyes was preening on the edge of the Serpentine.

It's remarkably large, as big as a Canada. Maybe one of its parents was a domestic goose -- the European breeds of domestic geeese are genetically Greylags.

A pair of Mute Swans on the Long Water displayed to each other. This infuriated the dominant male who owns the lake, and he rushed at them. His mate is on the right of the picture.

Someone had thrown a lump of stale and mouldy bread into the lake. A Coot and a Mute Swan examined it, and both decided to leave the nasty thing alone.

The Black Swan was mildly interested by a Cormorant fishing under the Serpentine bridge.

A Cormorant flapped to dry its wings, though it was raining. A Grey Heron took no notice of it.

There are plastic hawks on the cornice of The Lancasters, the large Victorian block of flats on the north side of Kensington Gardens.

Pigeons were placidly wandering around underneath this unconvincing dummy, no more frightened of it than they were of the stucco lion's head.


  1. I've seen starlings perched quite happily on top of dummy eagle owls. There's no fooling a bird.

    The Black-Headed Gull couple look like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Very elegant pas de deux.

    Since I know you enjoy animation, I wonder if you are aware of the Simon's Cat youtube chanel. The chanel owner, Simon Tofield, crowdfunded a short film about a cat's visit to the vet which is quite funny:

    It's more for cat lovers, of course, but there is a very short yet side-splittingly funny film about a robin outsmarting Simon's cat:

    1. Thanks for the links. Very funny. I've tried to get a cat into a box, and the film has it quite right.