Thursday 15 November 2018

The Little Owl was visible again in the oak tree near the Albert Memorial. But she didn't come out till the light was fading, so this is a very dark picture.

The female Peregrine was back on the barracks tower, raising a lethal foot.

Visitors to the rowan trees on Buck Hill included a Redwing ...

... a Mistle Thrush ...

... and some Starlings.

The Magpies here are residents, and spend much of their time in these trees.

More Mistle Thrushes could be heard in the trees at the foot of the hill, and there was also a small flock in the Rose Garden.

A Chaffinch found an insect in one of the Rose Garden flower beds.

A Coal Tit in the Dell looked up from eating some unidentifiable object.

A flock of Long-Tailed Tits moved along the edge of the Serpentine.

A Goldcrest appeared in the yew tree near the bridge.

A Jay stared imperiously from a branch.

The Black Swan was at the Vista again, and it is now her regular hangout.

She seems to be about on equal terms with the boss pair of Mute Swans here. The male pushes her out of the way, so she sends off his mate.

The pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull had just claimed a new victim.

There was a video about this pair of Herring Gulls on Monday. Here is more of their bonding ritual. He presents dead leaves and a stone to his mate. He also pushes her backwards. There is no hard border between affection and aggression.

Most of the Herring Gulls on the Serpentine are either first-winter or second-winter birds. This is a second-winter one, with adult pale grey feathers beginning to appear on its back. These long-lived birds grow up quite slowly, taking four years to reach full adulthood.


  1. Herring Gulls are so especially involved with tools, aren't they? Whether for fun as toys or to woo a prospective partner. I don't think the rest of gulls makes use of toys or gifts.

    The Black Swan is so small compared to the Mute Swan she shoos away, but it's clear from the other swan's reaction that those raised ruffles would strike the fear of God in any swan heart.

    1. I've seen young Black-Headed Gulls playing with sticks. Not enough young Lesser Black-Backs or Commons here to observe properly.