Sunday 14 October 2018

It was a dark day with frequent showers. There have been reports of the female Kestrel perching in a dead horse chestnut tree a few yards from the east side of the Round Pond, and I went to see if she was there. She wasn't, but there was a Great Spotted Woodpecker on the trunk.

 Long-Tailed Tits searched for insects in a tree near Queen's Gate. The flock included Great Tits and Blue Tits. These mixed foraging flocks are often seen in winter.

A Great Tit sheltered under a bush in the Rose Garden.

The local Dunnock wasn't bothered by the rain, and found a small larva on the edge of the path.

A male Chaffinch waited to get at the feeder, which as usual was crowded with Rose-Ringed Parakeets.

A Goldcrest called in a tree near the bridge.

The holly tree here had no small birds in it, because there was a Carrion Crow on a branch ...

... and two Grey Herons on top.

They must be parent and offspring, or they would not have been perched so close together without fighting. Occasionally the young one on the left nattered quietly at the other.

The pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull has been seen sharing a kill with his offspring, which is unusual as normally the young bird is expected to fend for itself and only gets the last of the leftovers. Now that the father has started killing several pigeons a day, he must be so well fed that he's getting indulgent. He allowed the young gull to stand in his favourite place on the roof of the Dell restaurant ...

... while he stared down from another corner, looking for an incautious pigeon on the edge of the lake.

We don't see much of the Great Crested Grebe family from the west end of the island, but one of the chicks came near the edge today. They are younger that the ones from the other end of the island, and are still quite stripy and only just beginning to grow crests.

A Moorhen dragged a twig along the shore. Some birds never quite lose the urge to collect twigs for nests.

Greylag Geese drank from a muddy puddle. They much prefer soft rainwater to the hard borehole water in the lake.

A Mute Swan's head was stained orange from poking in dead leaves.

One of the young Mallards at the Round Pond rummaged through the leaves stuck in a drain grating, hoping to find bugs that had collected there.

The invasive duckweed has been cleared out of the four main fountains of the Italian Garden, but not the small central fountain. A female Mallard enjoyed what was left.

The white Mallard provided a bright spot on a dull day. He was with his normal coloured mate.


  1. It's remarkable that Pigeon Killer is stepping up its game and killing several pigeons a day. I wonder why is that: has it refined its technique, so it can afford to hunt more often and share the spoils, or is it labouring under a late-onset attack of parental remorse, and feels obliged to support its lazy adult child?

    1. I think he's actually enjoying the hunt now, since he's catching more than he can eat. And being permanently stuffed full makes him lenient towards his hungry progeny.