Friday 17 August 2018

The female Kestrel was hunting over the Meadow -- the area in the northwest part of Hyde Park between Buck Hill and the Parade Ground. We've had a lot of pictures of her, but who can resist photographing this lovely bird?

She spent a while in the lime tree looking around alertly before she flew away.

She was annoyed by a small flock of Blue Tits, not enough for a serious mobbing, but they kept flying past her.

Martins are still flying over the Meadow. I thought this picture was of a House Martin because of the sun shining on its rump, making it look white, but actually the dark collar on its neck shows that it's a Sand Martin.

A female Blackcap was eating elderberries in a bush near Peter Pan.

The fruit on the rowan trees on the Meadow is now ripe enough to attract Blackbirds. This is a very short clip, because the camera alarmed her and she flew away.

Jackdaws have now returned to Hyde Park as well as Kensington Gardens. This one called and stared at me to demand a peanut.

The Feral Pigeon with the Rorschach test inkblot on its back was at the leaf yard.

One of the young Grey Herons on the island had climbed high out of its nest on to a thin branch on which it swayed precariously, flapping to keep its balance. The other one was out of sight, evidently elsewhere in the tree.

The collapse of the willow tree at the bridge has obliged the local heron to find a new fishing station here.

One of the Great Crested Grebes from the nest in the fallen poplar on the Long Water was chased by two noisy chicks. The other two chicks were resting under a bush.

Many birds are fond of potato chips. The Coots from the Serpentine outflow were given one from the Dell restaurant terrace. The chick got a bit but the parents shared most of it.

Two of the Moorhen chicks in the Italian Garden pool stood on a duckboard covered with duckweed.

A young Moorhen was finding edible things on the surface of the Serpentine. Some of it is bits of water weed, but what are the others -- insect larvae, water fleas? Moorhens will eat practically anything.

A Gadwall drake cruised by on the Serpentine, the first one I've seen for a while. They come and go at random, apparently from the garden of Buckingham Palace.

While I was trying to photograph the martins on the Meadow, a beautiful old Dragon Rapide biplane flew over.

Although it was at some distance, I could that it was in RAF colours, and not the usual one belonging to Classic Wings and based at Duxford that takes people on jaunts over London, which is painted blue and has the registration G-AKIF. This picture is from last year, a bit distorted by a summer heat haze.

It turns out that today's sighting was of another aircraft operated by the firm. It is actually a civilian Rapide, not the military version which was known as a Dominie, and it has been painted like that just for fun. Its registration is G-AIYR.


  1. Lovely planes. And the kestrel: great to see in the video how she keeps her head still and steady, whilst the body sways with the tree branches. What it must be like to have that sort of vision. Are those blue tits reckless, or do they know she won't catch them like that?

    1. The tits will only mob raptors when there are a fair number of them, so that they get the mob mentality, just like humans. I've also seen them mobbing a Little Owl. I think that in both cases the're fairly safe. They wouldn't be it it was a Hobby, skilled at taking small birds in flight.

  2. Love the Dragon Rapide pictures. An English Dragon RapideDragon Rapide played a substantial part in the Spanish Civil War: it was used to fly Franco from the Canary Islands to Tetuán, which triggered the onset of the civil war.

    The kestrel is such a beauty, it is impossible to stop staring at her.

    1. Hmm, I see it was a couple of British agents who brought Franco over. Typical sneaky British behaviour.