Wednesday, 8 January 2020

There were six Grey Herons on the roofs of the two small boathouses ...

... in addition to two on the island. This one is on the only nest that has been successful in recent years. Hard use explains its worn state, but the twigs on the front edge are recently added and it is being built up again.

Only the female Peregrine was visible on the tower.

Below them, a male Feral Pigeon tried his best to impress a female, but she wasn't interested and flew away.

Although I've often seen our Peregrines eating pigeons on the tower, I've never see one actually hunting. I would guess that flying pigeons are most at risk, since they could be taken in the air by one of the Peregrine's ultra-fast dives from altitude.

A Carrion Crow bathed in the Serpentine.

The distinctive dark green paper shopping bags from Harrods Food Hall always attract crows, who know that there will be the remains of a tasty picnic inside. This one was too heavy to get out of the bin, but the crow did manage to extract a tub of pimento-stuffed olives.

A Jackdaw looked for a humbler meal under a bramble.

A pair of Magpies nesting year after year at the bottom of Buck Hill have given rise to a substantial family. Here they are bouncing around on the grass.  Magpies walk when they are moving slowly, but hop to go faster.

One of the pair of Great Crested Grebes from the island cruised briskly up the lake. The low position with head forward shows that it's using both feet to paddle. When dawdling around they only use one foot, and keep the other folded up under a wing.

A pleasing photograph by David Element from a few days ago showing a Little Grebe on the Long Water. I think there's always at least one here, but they are such surreptitious little birds that you hardly ever see one.

Two Mute Swans charged up the Serpentine.

The inseparable dark Mallard brothers crossed the line of plastic buoys at the Lido. There are four of these dark Mallards and the other two, who may not be related, have normal mates, but I have never seen these two in any company other than their own.


  1. Bouncing Magpies are always so funny to see. For such killing machines they are curiously comical.

    Glad to see the Crow and myself have had the same thing for dinner (or rather side-dish) today: pimento-stuffed olives.

    Always a treat when a Little Grebe graces us, adoring fans, with its apparition.

    1. I thin the olives were only a side dish for the crow too, the main course being a rotting pigeon served in a gutter and, with luck, a dessert of chocolate cake crumbs prised off a paper wrapper.

    2. A balanced and nutritious diet, all in all.

    3. Just back from a restaurant where I had a 45-day aged steak, very good. But there was also a 100-day aged châteaubriand on the menu. Looks as if we are entering an era of decay that would make a gull blink.

  2. Which tower were the peregrines on?

    1. The Household Cavalry barracks in the South Carriage Drive.