Monday 22 October 2018

Between raids on tables ...

... the Carrion Crows at the Lido restaurant amused themsleves by tormenting a Grey Heron on the roof.

In the Dell, a young heron had the upper hand. It stalked a squirrel down the bank ...

... until the squirrel lost its nerve and bolted.

Three herons on the boathouse roof show the distance these solitary birds need to keep apart to avoid a fight breaking out.

A Pied Wagtail hunted for insects in dead leaves on the edge of the Serpentine.

A Moorhen was doing the same thing but more slowly.

The willow near the bridge that has collapsed into the lake has become a haven for Coots. The trunk is still attached to the roots on one side and the tree will stay alive in this state, providing useful nest sites.

Just along the bank from here is the only place where Mute Swans visiting the Long Water can be safe from the dominant pair of swans. When they are on land they can't easily be attacked. This place is defended on the near side by railings which keep humans away.

This young Great Crested Grebe from the west end of the island ranges all over the lake fishing by itself. It seems to have been kicked out early by its parents. The three young grebes at the east end of the island, which are several weeks older, are still in a family group.

A young Herring Gull's bathtime was momentarily interrupted when it landed too close to a belligerent Coot.

Herring Gulls often hitch rides on passing boats to get them from place to place without having to exert themselves.

There was a small flock of Goldfinches in a treetop near the Round Pond.

The Coal Tit at the leaf yard is becoming bolder. It now doesn't hesitate to come down to the railings to take a pine nut.

But it may never get as tame as the Coal Tits near the bridge, which feed confidently from the hand of people they are used to.


  1. That is still a victory, having the Coal Tit confidently take pine nuts from the railings.

    The Herring Gull's hitching a ride in a boat reminds me of pigeons taking subways and trains. There is even a whole sub reddit devoted to the phenomenon.

  2. Thanks for the link. Pigeons have been seen on the London Underground repeatedly getting on or off at the same station, clearly knowing where they were going. I love the picture of the girl with the raven on her knee, looking a bit like a young Morticia Adams.

    1. That is the Moscow subway, I think. Russia is a bit like Neverland, in that bears, ravens, tigers and leopards can be ordinary folks' pets.

    2. I thought of Moscow, but the notice on the window saying MT_FREE in roman letters is puzzling.

    3. The lettering above (except for WI-Fi) is Cyrillic, or so it seems to my very poor eyesight. It reminds me of trying to ask for directions in English in the Moscow subway in the late 80s and kind policemen taking me by the arm and escorting me to the right platform while shaking their heads. Almost nobody spoke any English back then, but every day I would find a person who sort of understood some Spanish because of trips to Cuba.

    4. It has to be Moscow anyway. As you said earlier, nowhere else is as weird.

      Though there have been moments. When Lord Byron was at Cambridge, undergraduates were forbidden to keep dogs. So he had a bear.

  3. Yes, nice link. (or a teenage Wednesday Adams). To think I used to worry about the first pigeons I spotted riding the District Line years ago, nineties I think.

    1. They've been doing it for longer than that. Maybe since 1863 when the Metropolitan line opened.