Wednesday 28 November 2018

A young Herring Gull was playing with a stone at the edge of the Serpentine when it was challenged by a Coot.

The Coot got more than it bargained for.

The gull retrieved its stone and took it on to a post where it wouldn't be bothered ...

... but dropped the stone in deep water and couldn't find it when it dived, so it flew away.

Herring Gulls can't resist pulling ropes.

Adult gulls don't play as much as young ones, but this Black-Headed Gull was having fun with a bit of bark from a plane tree.

The pigeon-killing Lesser Black-Backed Gull washed his beak after a bloody meal. He is very careful about his appearance.

The Black Swan came to the edge at the Vista with a hopeful look in her red eyes, and was rewarded with some sunflower hearts, of which she is very fond.

A Blue Tit was also looking expectant, perched comfortably on an iron spike. With their wonderfully grippy feet, tits can perch on anything at any angle.

A forecast of rain kept people out of the park, and there was almost no one feeding the Rose-Ringed Parakeets at the leaf yard. This gave the Great Tits and Blue Tits a chance to come out of the bushes unmolested.

A Robin in the Rose Garden faced down a rival in a flower bed.

A flock of Starlings found a patch of grass where wireworms were plentiful. Black-Headed Gulls saw this and came down to take advantage of the find, pushing the Starlings out of the way.

A Starling ...

... and a Mistle Thrush ate fruit in the rowan tree on Buck Hill.

A Redwing in the top of the tree waited for me to go away so that it could come down. Almost all the fruit at the top of the tree has been eaten, but there is still plenty on the lower branches.


  1. Great shots of the Gull/Coot confrontation. Yep, the Coot bit more than it could swallow. Love the catalogue of gulls playing with things. It ought to get its own category.

    Gulls's fastidiousness with keeping clean has caused some drinking water sanitation problems in a few small towns here. Gulls tend to spend their time in landfills and get disgustingly filthy. When they fly down to the reservoir floating on which they usually spend the night (can that verb 'roost' be said of a bird that sleeps floating on water?), they usually take the opportunity to take a dip in the water to clean themselves, which means the reservoir water gets very dirty. A dozen gulls wouldn't have that much of an impact, but there are often thousands of them, each one of them bathing in what will become later drinking water.

    Love seeing so many confident small birds!

    1. I have innumerable pictures of gulls, especially young Herring Gulls, playing with just about everything. But I think readers' interest would pall after the first dozen or so.

      Interesting that we are drinking gulls' bathwater. As usual, they are ahead of us.