Wednesday 6 February 2019

There was a brand new brood of Egyptian goslings at the Henry Moore sculpture. Egyptian Geese, native to Africa on both sides of the Equator, have no idea of the northern seasons and breed at unpredictable times.

Greylags browsed on the grass among newly sprouted daffodils beside Rotten Row. They left the daffodils alone. All parts of the plant contain the poisonous alkaloid lycorine, and the leaves are full of harsh tasting calcium oxalate.

A Mallard in the Italian Garden inspected one of the newly installed duckboards, but decided not to use it.

At the island a pair of Great Crested Grebes rested comfortably ...

... and a pair of Cormorants gazed into each other's blue eyes ...

... while a Grey Heron in the nest above them preened before settling down on the eggs.

This Black-Headed Gull beside the Serpentine is Finnish, and its ring number is ST292799.

The Redwings on the Parade Ground took advantage of the workmen's lunch hour to come down on the grass.

There were at least three Fieldfares, which kept their distance.

A Carrion Crow preened its shining black feathers in a tree near the Albert Memorial.

One of the Peregrines was on the barracks tower.

A Little Owl perched on the lime tree on Buck Hill, but a few seconds after I took this picture it was mobbed by Rose-Ringed Parakeets and fled to another tree.

A single Long-Tailed Tit crossed the Flower Walk.

David Element made a trip along the south bank of the river, and sent me this fine picture of a Little Egret.

They do visit the park occasionally, and we shall probably see more of them as their numbers increase.

Dog owners often put their pets on the plinth of the Physical Energy statue, perhaps as a bit of sympathetic magic to infuse them with vitality. This dog was having none of such mumbo-jumbo, and jumped off.


  1. What a strange habit on the part of the dog owners. Is it similar in intention to when people rub parts of a saint's statue for luck? (or is that a thing only Catholics do?).

    Love to see the first goslings of the season. They are so cuddly and pretty. Their parents look attentive, but I'm not very sanguine about their chances, sadly.

    I will say it once more: an Eagle Owl would be the very thing to cut parakeets down to size. Literally and figuratively. Spanish airports employ falconers to scare birds off runways. Eagle Owls spell terror for all small birds.

    1. There must be some pre-Christian urge to touch statues, I think. Like throwing money into water, which people do in the little pool at the top of the Dell waterfall.

      Much as I would love to see an Eagle Owl in the park, it would terrify all the small birds, and much would be lost. The parks' Tawny Owls have been seen taking parakeets, and so have Peregrines, Sparrowhawks and even one Hobby. I have even seen a Carrion Crow kill one. But they don't take enough to make a difference to the growing population.

  2. I was told of a study of the contents of Tawny Owl pellets in Hyde Park which said they contained lots of bright red psittacid beaks.

    1. No one has told me about this. But I do have two pictures, a few years old, of two Tawny owlets eating the upper and lower halves of a parakeet.