Thursday 29 November 2018

It was a windy morning.

Even the skilled pilot of the flying ambulance found the air over Buck Hill a bit bumpy.

The birds visiting the rowan tree are completely used to this noisy red bird landing next to them, and carry on feeding. Today's visitors included two Mistle Thrushes ...

... and half a dozen Blackbirds.

The resident Magpie couple were in the same tree.

The ability of Magpies to seize food is amazing. I didn't feed this one on Buck Hill, and it can only have stolen the peanut from a Carrion Crow.

You put down a peanut for a Jay to take, and while the bird is still thinking about flying down a Magpie shoots in from the side and grabs it.

Squirrels have brought down the feeder in the Rose Garden for the second time. They can't get into it, so they jump up and down on the cage until it comes unhooked and falls to the ground, where they can roll it around to make the bird seed fall out. While I was reassembling everything and bending the hook to make it more secure, the local Blackbird came out quite confidently for a sultana.

A flock of Long-Tailed Tits explored the trees in the Dell.

A Great Crested Grebe caught a fish.

A Moorhen rummaged in the fallen leaves at the edge of the Serpentine.

Mute Swans find it slightly awkward swimming through the carpet of leaves on the water.

The Black Swan came to the Vista to be fed while the dominant male Mute Swan was off chasing some other swans.

The weather brightened up in the afternoon, and the low sunlight caught a swan on the Round Pond ...

... and the white Mallard drake, who was near the Lido with his mate and the spare drake who is a part of the trio.


  1. Darned squirrels. I'm sorry they are giving you so much trouble. I wish a few Eagle Owls would take up residence at the park to control the population.

    That sunlit swan looks almost ... happy? If that can be said of such sullen creatures.

    Magpies can only be admired, ruthless as they may be. The perfect combination of brains and beauty.

    1. I wish we had Eagle Owls here :)

    2. The swan had just been preening, which must be a very soothing activity, and it was as happy as a swan can be.

      There are quite a few Eagle Owls in northern England and Scotland, but the official line is that they are all escapes or vagrants, and it is not considered a native species.

  2. Maybe Goshawks would help with the squirrels (as well as crows + pigeons)? Though they don't occur in UK cties they do in some of the German cities.

    1. We'll probably get Goshawks back soon as London declines into chaos.

  3. It would be good to have them. When I was a youngster Kestrel was the only raptor I saw around London. Now on my local patch in the western suburbs in addition Buzzard, Red Kite, Sparrowhawk, Peregrine + Hobby are all regular + have had one record of Merlin. Goshawk would be a great addition!