Thursday 10 October 2019

A Kingfisher, perhaps a pair of them, visited the Long Water, but refused to come anywhere near and the best I could manage was a very distant shot from the far side of the lake.

A Pied Wagtail chased a Feral Pigeon around the Serpentine -- no chance of a photograph of this distant though interesting pursuit. Eventually the wagtail gave up and landed on the roof of the little pavilion at the Lido. You can see that this a a female from the grey feathers on her back.

I have no idea what the pigeon had done to annoy the wagtail.

Grey Herons are hated by all other birds. A Black-Headed Gull amused itself by annoying a heron on the roof of one of the boathouses.

The second Common Gull to arrive in the park for the winter. Its legs are yellower than those of the gull I photographed yesterday.

Starlings queued up at the Lido restaurant waiting for a table to be vacated.

A Robin fluffed itself up on a post.

A Wren perched on a bush in the Dell.

A Blackbird foraged in the bushes near the bridge.

A Moorhen chick picked up grit from the tarmac path beside the lake, quite difficult because most of it is stuck down with tar. A Coot barged in, but a parent fended it off.

The Mallard drakes are looking their best in brand new breeding plumage.

An Ink Cap mushroom has come up among the dead leaves.

David Element was in the park, and got much better pictures than I did on a slow day. Here are four.

A Cormorant managed to land on a post, not easy for them ...

... and all too often they miss their footing and slide off.

A Tufted drake enjoyed a wash.

A fine close-up of a Jay. They are none too visible at the moment, and I only saw one all day.

Tom was at Rainham Marshes, where he got a good shot of a Green Sandpiper.

So was John Ferguson, who took this beautiful picture of a Sparrowhawk.


  1. I wonder if that's the same Black-Headed Gull I saw chasing a Heron yesterday over the bridge? It always looks strange to see a big bird fleeing a small one, but I suppose the bird at the rear always has the advantage.
    I remember reporting some time ago a Pied Wagtail chasing a Black-Headed Gull at the Round Pond and wondering why. Your response was classic - pond rage?

    1. Today the Pied Wagtail was in such close pursuit that it must have been slipstreaming, enabling it to keep up with the swift pigeon for about a minute. There may be have been an element of fun in this.

  2. I'm intrigued as to why ALL other birds should dislike herons. Surely gulls take as many chicks, without attracting like levels of generalised opprobrium...

    1. Herons are not just predatory, they annoy other birds by using their nests or favourite branches as fishing platforms. And they make themselves open to persecution by being large and obvious and standing in exposed places.

  3. Fun to see the smaller Gulls buzzing the feckless Heron. Perhaps they do it for fun (i.e. because they can).

    Wagtails will chase, or at least attempt to, anything on two legs here!

    Good to see the Moorhen parent seeing the indelicate Coot off. I wonder why it would wish to barge in on the Moorhens.

    1. That bit of the Serpentine shore is a gathering place for Coots, and they regard it as theirs. But Coots tend to bully Moorhens anyway.

  4. Had an idea. I wonder if the Pied Wagtail is chasing pigeons as a kind of flocking behaviour. It seeks to reduce the danger from smaller raptors as it flies off, and by chasing a pigeon it gains a companion and can also fly faster in the larger bird's slipstream as you have observed. It might have come up with this as a variation on jostling a conspecific to move on with it. Jim

    1. Interesting idea. See also Tinúviel's observation above.