Tuesday 2 October 2018

The Canada Geese with fifteen goslings haven't been very noticeable now that the young ones are all fully grown. But today they saw Jenna feeding the birds (with proper healthy food, I should point out) and charged over to mob her.

The Greylag that they accidentally adopted is still with them, and can be seen at the right of the picture. Here it is in a closer view. You can see that it is still young because there is no white line down its side under its folded wings, and its legs are still brownish orange.

There was also a solitary Canada about which we couldn't decide whether it was ill or just old. It can only walk slowly. It went to the edge of the lake and lay down to drink.

The young Mute Swan in the Italian Garden pond flapped its wings, managing to extend them fully. Its injured right wing is still a bit stiff, but better than it was yesterday.

The pair of Moorhens that nested unsuccessfully in the hawthorn tree on the Dell restaurant terrace now spend much of their time on top of the weir at the Serpentine outflow.

A Great Crested Grebe preened. They will be moulting now, and unable to fly for a while.

Three Cormorants fished cooperatively over the submerged wire baskets at the bridge, which are filled with twigs and act as a fish hatchery. But it looks as if the birds have fished out this area already. I watched for some time and they didn't catch anything here.

There were Cormorants all over the western end of the island.

The first Common Gull I've seen this autumn was on the rail of the Lido jetty, second from left in this picture. They return much later than the Black-Headed Gulls, and leave earlier.

Jon Ferguson found a Lesser Black-Backed Gull eating a Feral Pigeon which it had apparently killed at the Round Pond. But this isn't the usual pigeon killer ...

... whose picture taken today is below, and shows much less dark streaking on the head.

For some reason no birds, not even the omnivorous Feral Pigeons, seem to like strawberries.

They are usually not keen on salad either, but this Starling at the Lido restaurant ate a leaf. It was fancy feuille de chêne lettuce, and tastier than the ordinary stuff.

Most of the tables on the terrace were unoccupied on a windy day, but there were Starlings all over it, chattering loudly.

One of the two young Grey Herons perched on the edge of the Dell waterfall as branches thrashed in the background.

A depressingly large proportion of the dog owners in the park let their dogs chase the wildfowl, which is not just against the park regulations but against the law. At least this dog was so small and feeble that the dominant Mute Swan on the Long Water could deal with it. I was tempted to upload the full clip which showed the owner's silly face.


  1. Is that the owner you can hear say 'stop it' at the end? Ridiculous. And talk about feeble. Do the park rangers challenge these dog owners, and do any ever get prosecuted?
    Wondering whether the birds, like me, are just not bothering with these supermarket strawberries because of the utter lack of flavour.

    1. People have been prosecuted, but there are hardly any police in the park, and when you do see any the're generally in a car, blind and deaf to the world.

      A good point about the strawberries.

  2. I think you should show their silly face.

  3. That Swan could have torn the dog limb from limb.

    I love hearing the chattering of Starlings. Here it means winter is drawing near, and with it, leaving the 30+ºC of the first week of October behind.

    That is possibly the third pigeon killer in the park, right?

    1. There have been two possible pigeon killers so far in addition to the original and the newest candidate, and I've seen them trying to hunt and sometimes with a dead pigeon, but never any conclusive evidence that they caught it. I'm sure the other Lesser Black-Backs are aware of pigeons as a food source but it takes skill and practice to catch one, and so far the original killer is the only one to have mastered it. And for some reason the far more numerous Herring Gulls aren't even trying.