Tuesday 4 September 2018

The female Kestrel is now spending much of her time at the Round Pond, where David Element took this fine picture of her yesterday evening.

But today she returned to Buck Hill.

She was harrassed first by a Magpie and then by a Carrion Crow ...

... and more Magpies arrived to join in the chase.

After she attacked one of them they melted away, and she was free to start hunting, perching in and flying out from several trees around the edge of the field.

At the other end of the field a flock of Mistle Thrushes hopped around in the short grass looking for worms.

There were just a couple of Blackbirds in the rowan trees. When eating the fruit they tend to stay inside the tree, making them hard to photograph.

The young Grey Herons were back on home ground, perched on the roof of one of the boathouses.

Black-Headed Gulls are afraid of Moorhens. When even a young one landed on the boat awning where they were standing, most of them panicked and flew away.

The Great Crested Grebe family near the bridge were fishing. The three teenagers are now catching their own fish, but that doesn't stop them from prodding their father to try to get more.

He caught a large carp and took it under the bridge, so I couldn't see whether he managed to swallow it.

The enormous Greylag Goose, dwarfing its Canada mate, waddled heavily to the edge of the Serpentine. We think that one of its parents was a domestic goose, genetically a Greylag but bred for size.

The heavy growth of weed on the lake provides plenty of food for Mute Swans ...

... but the duckweed in the Italian Garden fountains baffled the Feral Pigeons who had come to their usual duckboard to bathe.

The gardeners have the long task of removing it. It's very hard to dredge out because it's a collection of small individual plants, not a tangle of strands like algae. They use a fine net with a top bar that floats and a bottom bar that sinks, which does the job but it's still a laborious business. Here they are helped by an unpaid volunteer.


  1. Poor Black-headed Gulls. Someone is going to take their Gull card away from them at this rate.

    That Greylag Goose is too heavy. It appears to have some difficulty walking.

    1. When Black-Headed Gulls are on the posts with chains, Moorhens walk up the chains and knock them off the posts. The poor gulls never resist.