Wednesday 12 December 2018

The value of birds as scavengers is much underestimated. A dead perch on the edge of the Serpentine was gradually disposed of by a Carrion Crow ...

... a Moorhen ...

... and a young Herring Gull.

A discarded takeaway meal in the Italian Garden became a feast for Feral Pigeons, Black-Headed Gulls, a Carrion Crow and a Mute Swan.

It it wasn't for birds we'd be waist deep in rotting dreck.

Another Moorhen was more at home looking for little invertebrates in a heap of dead leaves at the edge of the Serpentine.

A Great Crested Grebe caught a perch near the bridge.

Another preened its shining white belly. The brightness of the feathers makes the bird less visible to the fish below.

A few more Gadwalls have arrived on the lake. They come and go randomly at any time of year. Breeding hutches are provided for them in the garden of Buckingham Palace, and you see more Gadwalls in nearby St James's Park than you do here.

A quarrelsome bunch of Grey Herons arrived to be fed beside the Serpentine.

The Herring Gull with the red ring that I saw on the 6th was beside the Serpentine again. I reported the ring, and now know that it was ringed in Bristol in 2016 and has been seen all over London, with 30 reports coming from 20 different observers in Barnes, Stoke Newington and Regent's Park, and on the Thames Embankment.

A visitor from farther afield: this Black-Headed Gull was ringed in Poland.

Three Common Gulls stood on the buoys at the edge of the Lido swimming area.

Two Nuthatches came to take food at the edge of the leaf yard.

A Robin perched on a ferociously thorny bush in the Rose Garden.

Jackdaws waited to be fed in a hawthorn tree near the Italian Garden. At least ten of them have taken to hanging out here.


  1. I never would have imagined in a thousand years that Herons could be handfed like so many Robins. Their tameness is astonishing to me.

    India could very well tell the story of what happens when one's scavenging birds are wiped out.

    1. Yes indeed, and the EU now idiotically permits the use of diclofenac, the poison that wiped out the vultures.

  2. Feeding Heron's is certainly a no no, they aren't a sociable species and can injure each other. They don't need supplementary feeding. This has been going on in Regent's for years even when those are told to stop they still think they are helping. This year their actions have seen the failure of 15 pairs of Heron to breed. The cause crow numbers have increased and harassed the adults ate their eggs all down to public feeding.

    1. I have never fed a heron. But it's pretty much impossible to prevent other people from doing it. I remember seeing a woman in Regent's Park sitting on a bench by the 'canal' at the southeast corner of the lake with at least 30 herons crowding round her and blocking the path.

  3. For the first time for over 20 years that group of 30 Herons is no longer. We hope they return but at the moment there are as few as 8 birds present.