Friday 16 November 2018

It was a dark grey day, and you could hardly see this Great Crested Grebe fishing under the fallen willow near the bridge.

A band of Cormorants dried their wings at the island.

A pair of Shovellers revolved together at Peter Pan.

At the Vista the dominant male Mute Swan sailed along beside the Black Swan with wings raised menacingly. She took no notice.

In an interview, he declined to comment on the situation.

A Song Thrush visited the rowan trees on Buck Hill.

A Jackdaw ...

... and a Jay waited for service on the stone vases in the Italian Garden.

The divers working to remove the 36 large concrete blocks that anchored the Mastaba found a great deal of detritus in the lake ...

... including a World War 2 bomb. A large area of the park was closed for several hours while divers from the bomb squad made it safe and removed it. The Canada Geese had also left because of the disturbance, but eventually it was safe to go back.

During this time we went to Marble Arch, where a young male Kestrel has been reported on the central island, standing on a stone wall only feet from the passing traffic.

We passed lorryloads of stuff waiting to be installed in the Winter Wasteland. The designer of this attraction has taken his inspiration from the works of Hieronymus Bosch.

There was no sign of the Kestrel, but there was the Lesser Black-Backed Gull with beige legs, which we have already seen on the Serpentine, guarding a freshly killed Feral Pigeon from a bunch of Carrion Crows.

I don't think a Kestrel is large enough to take a pigeon, and it seems most likely that the gull did it. But I have yet to catch any gull other than the well known one in the act.

A bush on the island at Marble Arch was thronged with Feral Pigeons eating the large black berries.

On the way back through the Meadow there was an alarm call in a patch of scrub, from which a Wren stared out challengingly.


  1. He's about to take a bite out of the camera, I'll wager, or I don't know swans. He looks a bit exasperated.

    I love the little train of Canadas diligently going back to the water after danger is past. Was there true danger of the bomb going off, though?

    1. As far as I know, the bomb was small and considered safe enough to haul out and take away. Perhaps it was an incendiary.

  2. Lovely image of the 2 swans side by side + you did well get the brilliant colours of the Jay on such a dreary day.

    Interesting to see the Feral Pigeons feeding on the berries- don't think I've ever seen them feeding on them before unlike Wood Pigeons.

    1. Yes, I was surprised to see those pigeons too. As usual, I have no idea what the ornamental bush is. It's in the flower bed on the west side of the Marble Arch fountains.

  3. I think the shrub is one of the dark berried Cotoneaster species, but don't know which one.

  4. Or it could be the Japanese privet (Ligustrum japonicum)

    1. Thank you both. Looks as if the jury is still out on this one.

    2. I don't like to leave things undetermined. So, as I couldn't see the shrub properly in the video (the branches been shaken either by the wind or by the weight of the pigeons) yesterday I went to see the actual tree at Marble Arch in the traffic island. I didn't recognise it myself, but equally I puzzled the personnel of a large garden centre that I consulted. But finally a friend of mine has suggested a probable id: blue fruited Cotoneaster affinis; and I think she is right. Mario

    3. Thank you very much for your careful research. How strange to grow such a rare shrub on a traffic island.

  5. The common name of this rare tree is Purpleberry Cotoneaster