Wednesday 3 October 2018

The notorious pigeon-killing Lesser Black-Backed Gull had killed two pigeons, and was on the roof of the restaurant resting after an enormous meal, leaving his offspring to eat the leftovers. The young gull was trying to keep both pigeons, but an adult Lesser Black-Back kept trying to feed on the unattended one, and had to be repeatedly chased away. The young gull clearly takes after its dominant father and can already see off an adult.

A young Herring Gull played with a stick beside the Serpentine.

The pair of Mute Swans on the island, which used to sit in front of the gate with their cygnets, have been driven off by another pair. At least the newcomers were not blocking the gate, and Mallards and a Canada Goose could walk in and out freely. However, a Cormorant got warned not to come any closer.

One of the Bar-Headed Geese from St James's Park paid a visit. It was grazing at the east end of the Serpentine.

Jon Ferguson has been keeping an eye on the Mallard family on the Round Pond, and sent this picture of them nearly grown up. The mother has done a remarkable job in keeping them all alive except one.

This is an indifferent picture, but I include it because it's unsual to see the whole Great Crested Grebe family from the east end of the island togther. Usually they are ranging widely all over the Serpentine.

This young Moorhen in the Dell is probably looking for insects, but Moorhens can't resist climbing on any clump of plants just because it's there.

One of the young Grey Herons was doing its best to look like a branch in the dead willow next to the Italian Garden.

An oak beside the Serpentine was full of chattering Starlings. A closer look showed that they were digging insects out of the leaves.

A Robin in the Dell called to a rival, telling it not to come too close.

This rat is often to be seen climbing the Harlequin Glorybower tree in the Rose Garden. I thought it was trying to get to the bird feeder that used to hang there, but some evil person has stolen the feeder yet again, and the rat still climbs the tree.

A few feet away, a Buff-Tailed Bumblebee was frantically foraging. The single yellow roses, closer to the wild flower than more complicated cultivars, provide plenty of nourishment.

A lot of the trees on Buck Hill are sadly affected by Honey Fungus, which causes the bark to peel off and the wood to be affected by white rot.

Sadly, this includes the rowan trees where thrushes feed on the berries. One of the four has been killed already, and a a second one is dying.


  1. Great footage of the gulls- fascinating to watch the behaviour between them.

    Interesting to see the bee + honey fungus as well as the birdlife

    1. The pigeon killer's offspring is already a real thug. Wonder whether it will become a pigeon killer in its turn. It's already above average size for an LBB.

  2. I was missing the Bumblebees. Only yesterday I read a funny description of them (in a cartoon that taught how to tell apart yellow stripey things, as they called them): "Pollinates stuff very well, so fat it shouldn't be able to fly, will let you pet it without getting agitated, actually a flying panda".

    This was such a great year for all families, it seems. Even the stubborn Coots from the weir managed to raise a chick to adulthood.

    Someone ought to pat the Heron on the back (if it will allow it): that is a perfect imitation of there ever was one.

    1. My identification guide to bumblebees is a kitchen drying-up cloth sold at Kew Gardens. Quicker than looking them up on the web.

      Surely no one tries to pet bumblebees. Mind you, it's best to keep clear of pandas too.

    2. *raises hand hesitatingly*

      I actually tried to pet one one time... common sense prevailed though.

    3. Courage tempered with prudence.