Wednesday 22 November 2017

A pair of Black-Headed Gulls were displaying to each other, and finally calling in unison. I think the one on the right is the male.

Another Black-Headed Gull chased a Carrion Crow in circles over the Long Water.

This pair of Lesser Black-Backed Gulls is usually in the Serpentine just off the Lido restaurant terrace. They have quite bright yellow bills and feet and are often mistaken for the notorious pigeon eater and his mate. I have never seen either of them attack a Feral Pigeon -- yet.

The Grey Herons in the park are getting noticeably bolder. This one was on the busy path by the Diana fountain, taking no notice of people passing a couple of feet away.

No amount of floating leaves will stop a Shoveller from shovelling.

It was a slow day in the park, so I went to St James's Park to see how the Black Swan's budding romance was developing. She was up at the Buckingham Palace end of the lake without her new companion, and was much more interested in being fed than in the company of the other swans.

The four teenagers were together under the bridge.

She cruised up the lake and went straight past them without a glance in their direction.

Swans, black or white, are moody creatures and you can never predict their behaviour.

A Bar-Headed Goose was touting for food beside the path.

Three others followed a Bar-Headed--Greylag hybrid across the lake. As usual with hybrid geese, it's as large as its larger parent.

There were plenty of Red-Crested Pochards, at least two dozen in all.

There are only two in Hyde Park at the moment, but these birds are very mobile and fly between the inner London parks, including Regent's Park. Their numbers are increasing. Once regarded simply as a park escape, they are now recognised as a British breeding species.

A Great Crested Grebe took off and flew low along the lake.

When I came home it was beginning to get dark, but I gave the Little Owls' trees in Kensington Gardens a final check, not expecting to see any because of the rising wind. But the male owl at the leaf yard looked out of his hole in the horse chestnut tree for a moment, and I got a rather dim shot of him.


  1. Why were three bar-headed geese following the hybrid, did they just seem to enjoy its company/leadership? Jim

    1. They look quite animated, were they protesting something out of shot or proceeding to someone with feed? Btw maybe the shoveler was finding a few aphids etc among the fallen leaves. Jim.

    2. I chose the most animated shot, as one does. They were just going up the middle of the lake, and I couldn't see any goal they were headed for. Bar-Headed Geese are actually rather quiet compared to Greylags and Canadas.

  2. Ralph I hope to join you tomorrow, Serpentine bridge at 10.30. Quentin 07946 535656.

  3. I love the Black-headed gulls' display. They're charming little creatures, although I am sure that thair ferocity is limited by virtue of their size, not their desire.

    1. They do eat terns' eggs in mixed colonies, but otherwise they don't threaten anything larger than an earthworm.