Saturday 13 October 2018

It was another very windy day. A Jackdaw shelled a peanut efficiently on a branch in the leaf yard as leaves whipped around.

The small birds held firmly on to their twigs. Great Tits have very strong feet, as you notice when they land on your finger and grip it like a tiny Mole wrench.

Both they and Nuthatches can walk along the underside of a branch without the slightest trouble.

Chaffinches eat the pips out of rowan berries and discard the pulp.

Usually at this time of year the rowan trees on Buck Hill are full of Mistle Thrushes, but there seem to be very few this year. There was a Song Thrush, perfectly camouflaged in the leaf litter.

A half marathon race was going on in Hyde Park. A Pied Wagtail ignored the human runners and sprinted about on the grass beside the Serpentine.

A Carrion Crow extracted seeds from the pod of an iris planted beside the Diana fountain.

The young Lesser Black-Backed Gull that is the offspring of the pigeon-killer stood in its parents' territory while the father chased off a couple of Herring Gulls. The parents tolerate its presence but no longer feed it.

The Great Crested Grebes from the east end of island are still sporadically feeding their teenagers, though these are now almost independent.

One of the adults from the other end of the island was tousled by the wind. It's already almost in plain winter plumage.

There were 14 Cormorants in a row at Peter Pan.

Blondie and her mate were at the east end of the Serpentine, their usual spot and only a few yards from the place where Blondie was hatched. She is a remarkably sedentary bird. She flew to the Round Pond once several years ago, didn't like it, and came back the following day.

The air ambulance made a neat landing in the gusts on Buck Hill.

As I was going home I saw a father and son staring at the big gold statue of Prince Albert on the memorial.
Son: 'Who's that, Daddy?'
Father: 'Jesus.'


  1. Love the phalanx of Cormorants!

    I'm pretty sure the seed pods the Crow is investigating are of Yellow Flag Iris- the leaves also look right for this species.

  2. Ralph, great blog

    I witnessed the cannibal Gull catch and kill a pigeon yesterday at around 5pm, and it appeared to allow the juvenile to share in the meal!

    P.S. Thanks for your brilliant video on the subject, otherwise I wouldn't have believed what I was seeing unfold!

    1. Callum- it's not a cannibal; predatory yes! That would be eating one of it's own kind! It's like calling humans a cannibal for eating beef!

    2. I think the gull is now finding it so easy to kill pigeons that he's relaxing. He often gets two a day, occasionally three, and can't eat all of them.

  3. Haha very true, it's not technically a cannibal.
    It was incredibly relaxed, hunting in front of a crowd of tourists.

  4. I bet the little Wagtail ran much faster than all those lumpy humans.

    I can go one better on the subject of misidentified monuments. First time I was in London, many years ago, one of my travel companions asked, on seeing Nelson's column in Trafalgar Square, who was that. Another travel companion fired back, without hesitation, "Napoleon".

    1. Lovely story about Nelson's column. How Napoleon would have hated being in Trafalgar Square, especially if he had arrived via Waterloo Station.