Monday 15 October 2018

A Jackdaw posed elegantly on an urn in the Italian Garden. It was, of course, waiting to be given a peanut.

So were these Carrion Crows on the stakes supporting a young tree.

I photographed them because they reminded me of the ravens Huginn and Muninn who perch on the shoulders of one-eyed Odin and bring him news of all that has happened in the world.

A crow killed a pigeon on the path near the bridge.  The pigeon would have been sick or injured and the crow saw its chance, but it took some time to kill the unfortunate bird. Warning: this is a pretty gruesome video clip.

Less seriously, crows often amuse themselves by creeping up behind creatures and pulling their tails. I have also seen them doing this to squirrels and dogs. The Grey Heron was not amused at all.

A heron stalked about restlessly on the edge of the Serpentine. It was about the time of day when the man comes to feed it sardines.

While the pigeon-killing Lesser Black-Backed Gull was drinking on the edge of the Serpentine ...

... his offspring leapt in neatly behind him to catch a piece of bread.

A Pied Wagtail ran around the edge of the Round Pond. During the two minutes I watched it, it caught three midges and a small larva.

A Robin sang in a hawthorn tree beside the West Carriage Drive, its song almost drowned by the noise of the traffic.

Two Rose-Ringed Parakeets confronted each other on the Henry Moore sculpture.

The young Great Crested Grebes from the east end of the island have lost most of their juvenile stripes -- compare yesterday's picture -- and are fishing for themselves with moderate success, sticking to the shallow water at the edge of the lake where small fish are easier to catch.

When their parents appear they still chase them begging for food, but are now ignored.

A Shoveller drake preened. It must be difficult to do this with a bill like a vacuum cleaner attachment, but they manage. It's now very nearly in full breeding plumage, which will last till next summer.

So is this Tufted drake.

The shire horses were out on Buck Hill, collecting cut grass which was being gathered by some Bloomberg employees. The young people needed directions on the proper use of a hay fork.


  1. And did Sardine Man show up?

    1. Yes, regular as clockwork. He's the man who goes around with the squeaker, usually with a pigeon on his head.

    2. Haven't met him yet. What time does he do the rounds?

    3. I think he also uses chopsticks? A wise precaution with a beak like that.

    4. Yes, I've seen the chopsticks. Must seem like a parental beak to the herons.

  2. Replies
    1. I'm very fond of Jackdaws, with their bright silver eyes.

  3. I love to hear that there is a Sardine Man. I would love to see that so much.

    That Crow must have a death wish. Either that, or the other crows are daring it to annoy the sharpest, most fearsome beak in existence.

    I am loving all the pictures of Jackdaws so much. How could one not love the bird?

    1. Crows often mob and taunt herons, flying low over them as they stand. They must be fast enough to dodge the deadly beak, or think themselves fast enough.

  4. A couple of years ago when a heron strayed into the crow terrritory at the north-west corner of Kensington Gardens it was chased fiercely and relentlessly by a large mob of them, gaining sanctuary eventually by dropping down by the hedge. I feared for the heron but it must have escaped eventually no doubt having to run the gauntlet again.

    1. I've never seen a heron on the Round Pond. Too close to the crows.