Monday 28 January 2019

The Great Black-Backed Gull was on the Long Water for the third day running. Here it is next to a Cormorant.

It caught a large fish, probably a perch though it's hard to see, and ripped it to pieces. A young Herring Gull waited for the chance of getting a scrap.

Black-Headed Gulls swooped hopefully overhead, waiting for the huge bird to move away.

More Shovellers have arrived on the Long Water. The chief attraction here is the air bubblers that are supposed to oxygenate the water, which bring up a lot of silt and with it the little water creatures that Shovellers eat.

Several Grey Herons squabbled beside the Serpentine.

The Little Owl at the Queen's Temple was enjoying the sunshine ...

... and so was the one near the Henry Moore sculpture ...

... but, sad to say, the squirrel has reclaimed the hole near the Albert Memorial.

There are plenty of other holes in the surrounding oak trees, some of which are better than the one the pair of owls here chose, as they don't let in the rain. But if they move, we shall have the trouble of finding them again.

The bold Wren in the Rose Garden dashed around under my feet.

The equally bold Wren in the Flower Walk was also visible. It's not sure that this is the same Wren as the one last year -- Wrens are short-lived birds -- but it is in the same places and behaves in the same way.

Takaki Nemoto went to Euston to try to find the Waxwing on a day when the light was good ...

... and succeeded splendidly.

Two good pictures from Mike Meilack: a Long-Tailed Tit waited for a turn on the feeder at Kensington Palace ...

... and a fox appeared on the far side of the Archery Field.

I've never seen a fox there before, but London is so full of foxes now that it's not a surprise to see them anywhere.


  1. Hi Ralph,
    My wife and I have been looking for little owls for a long time and we just wanted to thank you for your regular helpful posts because today we finally saw the little owl near the Queen's Temple. Luckily it was a sunny today and although we got to the park late in the afternoon we saw it pop out after half an hour of waiting as the last ray of sunshine fell on it's little hole. Many thanks and please keep posting! We really hope the little owls are able to reclaim some good spots in the park.

    Best regards,
    Atif and Rebekah

    1. Thank you. Glad you found the owl. A reminder to other readers: type 'map' into the search box at top let of the main window to find the map of where the owls are.

  2. Did you see the GBB catch the fish? Wondering how often gulls actually do this of their own device, rather than parasitise a cormorant etc. Once watched a GBB on a playing field with other gulls and it did nothing but try to parasitise the others. Jim

    1. Hard to say, since I only arrived when it already had the fish. I'm sure it could catch a large fish that was not at too great a depth and could be seen from the air. But, judging from the fact that when Cormorants catch perch they come up with algae, perch seem to stay near the bottom. Also, perch are the only fish that a Cormorant can't swallow at once. They have to be turned round because of the spiny fins, and this would give the gull a chance.

  3. Quite often when I see Great Black-backs when I'm doing my WeBS counts they seem to be eating Flounders. I'm sure many of them are found dead but I guess it's possible they may catch the odd one by the ebbing tide.

  4. excellent pic of the waxwings. I'm going to try today as there is a report on London bird wiki they ares till there. anyone have an exact location of the trees they favour?
    Mark W2

    1. Corner of Churchway and Doric Way. Just one rowan tree, unmissable.

  5. Those swans are about to lose their patience with the squabbling Herons, judging by their look.

    Damn Squirrels. You should convince the Park management of the expediency of hiring the services of an Eagle Owl.

    I am glad that the GBB is staying for a few days: marvellous brute. Even when scavenging they do so with a flair.

    1. I'd love to have an Eagle Owl in the park, if only for its effect on small dogs. But it would probably be the end of the rabbits, which are only just hanging on.

      Didn't see the Great Black-Backed Gull today, Tuesday. No previous one has stayed more than one day.