Thursday 21 November 2019

A Lapwing was seen this morning at the north end of the Parade Ground between the Winter Wasteland and Marble Arch. Later it flew down to the Serpentine.

Two Great Spotted Woodpeckers appeared in a chestnut tree on the south side of the lake, probably the same ones seen near the bridge yesterday. Again, this is a female.

There has been a considerable arrival of Blackbirds, as usual including many immature males. Here's one beside the Long Water ...

... and another in St James's Park, photographed by Mark Williams.

It was a cold day, and so dark that the gas lamps switched themselves on with their battery-powered phtoelectric cells (an odd mix of old and new). A Carrion Crow took the opportunity to warm itself over the chimney.

A Jay looked out from an oak.

Long-Tailed Tits worked their way up the edge of the Long Water.

A Pied Wagtail hunted along the edge of the Serpentine at the Dell restaurant.

A young Herring Gull played with a mossy stone.

The Rose-Ringed Parakeets, so well camouflaged in summer, are now conspicuous against the bare branches.

There is no doubt that they will recognise their feeder when she next appears beside the Peter Pan statue.

A female Tufted Duck looked up appealingly, hoping to be fed.

The Serpentine island is being cleared with great thoroughness. A chipping machine was being floated across to deal with the debris.

Many new trees and bushes will be planted. It will be better in the end, but I don't think the Grey Herons are going to be able to nest when they normally start around the New Year.

Tom was at Rainham Marshes, and saw a Grey Heron catch a Gurnard on the muddy bank of the Thames. This is a new species of fish for the site, but it really wasn't having a good afternoon.


  1. I'd go so far as to say that Gurnard's day was ruined.

    The pied Parakeet Feeder reminds me of the pigeon feeders in Seville. I once saw a lady, who was rumoured to be quite out of her mind, who took it upon herself to feed daily the Seagulls in Bayona, a small village in Galicia. The clouds of hundreds of Gulls heading towards and then orderly landing around the woman (who was laden with at least two sacks of feed, if I recall correctly) was like something out of a terror movie. I later found out that she was something of a local celebrity. Here she is:

    1. That's quite an orderly feeding frenzy compared to some I've seen in the park. It helps that the Herring Gulls and Yellow-Legged Gulls are the same size and so have to pay a certain amount of respect to each other.

  2. The Lapwing must have been a nice surprise for you! Sadly I've lost them from my local patch- the area they frequented is being developed into yet another golf course (already so many in these west London suburbs!), but used to have 2 or 3 pairs that had territory + wintering flocks of up to 40 birds.

    Amazing seeing the Gunard being swallowed- there's a video of it on the RSPB website too.

    1. It's the first Lapwing we've had in ten years. A welcome surprise.

  3. Hi Ralp. Just wondering the exact location of the Little Owl near the Albert Memorial. Tried looking today and no success. James.

  4. Replies
    1. Thank you. Is the oak tree near the Kiosk? Also I presume the Tawny Owls have not been seen in awhile? James

    2. Kiosk? The one near the Memorial? If so, yes. And yes, we haven't been able to find the Tawnies, though they are often heard.

  5. Thank you so much.