Wednesday 11 October 2017

The pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull jumped at a Feral Pigeon in the middle of the tarmac, and caught it.

He took it into the lake to kill it as usual. A Black-Headed Gull became very excited and flew around overhead, screaming.

The Black Swan peacefully ate a dried-up dead leaf. It's hard to see how a swan's diet of algae and leaves sustains a very large bird that expends a huge amount of energy in flying.

This Black-Headed Gull also picked up a dead leaf, but as a toy rather than food.

Peanuts are much more nutritious, but a Mute Swan has no way of coping with one.

Another swan enjoyed a power shower at the water inlet of the Round Pond.

A gaggle of Canada Geese at the Serpentine island started rushing around frantically for no reason that I could see.

A Shoveller drake was preening on a raft. His enormous blunt bill seemed ill suited to the purpose, but he managed.

The white Mallard's creamy yellow feathers were set off by some autumn leaves. In a couple of months he will fade and be whiter than the swans.

The Little Grebe was sheltering against the iron air vent in the Round Pond. I have no idea what is under there that needs venting -- possibly the dungeons of Kensington Palace.

A Mistle Thrush ate yew berries near the Henry Moore sculpture.

The female Little Owl at the leaf yard looked out of her hole.

As I approached the Little Owls' tree near the Albert Memorial, the female appeared for a fraction of a second and vanished. There was just time for one hasty (and bad) shot.

It became apparent why she had fled when a squirrel poked its head out of the hole.

Actually, if a squirrel made a Little Owl really angry, my money would be on the owl. They may be much smaller but they are faster, and have deadly needle-sharp claws and go for the eyes.


  1. Are there dungeons for real at Kensington Palace?

    My money is on the Little Owl, as well. If they can take a vole, they can take a squirrel.

    I think I've read somewhere in Konrad Lorenz's "Here I Am – Where Are You?" what a sudden burst of calling and rushing means for geese, but I can't find it now. Will report if I do.

    Pigeon Killer looks like a T-rex in that pose. Scary bird.

    1. As far as I know there are no dungeons in Kensington Palace. But why would anyone need an air vent (which the thing certainly is) in the middle of a pond?