Tuesday 7 November 2017

The white-faced Blackbird hasn't been seen for six weeks, but today she was back in her usual place on the railings near the Italian Garden waiting to be given some sultanas.

Another welcome return: the familiar Black-Headed Gull with ring number EY09813 is back for the winter and came trotting up to me expecting to be recognised and fed.

The second pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull was hunting near the Triangle car park. He doesn't yet have the refinement of technique of the first gull, and just rushes at a crowd of pigeons. I haven't yet been there to see a successful catch, and I think it takes him longer than it does the first gull.

The Diana fountain remains closed for maintenance, though nothing has been done in the enclosure for some days. So it's full of gulls and geese. The adult Herring Gull on the left is dancing to bring up worms. The young one on the right hasn't yet learnt how to do this. I've only seen Herring Gulls and occasionally Common Gulls doing the worm dance; Lesser Black-Backs never seem to pick it up from a closely related species.

Herring Gulls and Lesser Black-Backs can interbreed and produce fertile offspring, and it's possible that pigeon eater number two, with his odd pinkinsh legs like a Herring Gull's, is a hybrid. This mixed pair was on the shore of the Serpentine.

A Cormorant at the east end of the lake, having found nowhere to perch in this open place, was drying its wings in the water.

Another on the Long Water was eating a carp while avoiding swallowing the algae it was tangled in.

The three young Great Crested Grebes are still sometimes pestering their parents for fish, but their parents are taking no notice now. All three have survived on their own for some weeks, so they must be quite successful at fishing, though they have a lot to learn before they can be as efficient as adults.

The Black Swan spotted me and came charging over.

A Peregrine preened on the tower of the Household Cavalry barracks.

A male Rose-Ringed Parakeet ate yellow berries in a tree near the bridge. I haven't seen any other bird eating them, so probably they are very sour. Parakeets seem to have a high tolerance of sour and bitter fruit, and eat unripe crabapples with gusto.

The male Little Owl near the leaf yard was looking out of his hole in the horse chestnut tree.

The female near the Henry Moore sculpture was in her usual lime tree.

At the bottom of the hill, a flowering bush was buzzing with wasps.


  1. Where might have the white-faced Blackbird been to? Is it possible that she might have remained in the park for so long without being sighted? She is pretty distinctive.

    It's pretty heartwarming that the Black-headed Gull should remember you from winter to winter. I would be dead chuffed, myself.

  2. It's very easy for a Blackbird to escape notice. All she has to do is not come out of the bushes and call to me.