Saturday 15 August 2020

I had thought that there was only one young Hobby in Hyde Park, but two turned up together in a plane tree. I found them after one of their parents called from an invisible spot in an adjacent tree.

Overnight rain had softened the parched ground, giving three Mistle Thrushes on Buck Hill the hope of finding a worm or two. I think these birds must be from our few resident thrushes, as it's too early for the autumn migrants to have arrived. Amid the distant calls of the noisy Rose-Ringed Parakeets there was something that sounded like a Kestrel at 12 seconds, but the birds didn't seem to be worried, and only fled at the end when they saw a dog approaching.

The Dunnock at the Lido restaurant was out on the path looking for insects attracted by spilt food.

The familiar Robin in the leaf yard that comes to my hand was still looking sadly tatty after nesting, but at least it's regrown its missing tail feathers. This and another Robin have started singing and chasing each other, a sign that breeding pairs have now split up and are holding separate territories.

A pure white Feral Pigeon rested on the path at the Lido restaurant. It's not one of the regulars here, and was unaware ...

... that the pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull, who had not yet had his lunch, was eyeing it from the restaurant roof.

A Grey Heron used one of the wire baskets around the island as a fishing platform.

The young Great Crested Grebes from the east end of the island practised their fishing skills, interrupted by Black-Headed Gulls hoping to be able to snatch something. Their parents are still feeding them, and one was brought quite a large pike. It dived to avoid a gull, so I didn't see whether it managed to swallow the fish.

The chicks from the west end of the island are younger, and still at the stage where they hang around squeaking until food arrives. Grebes seem to get cramped when they fold up their large feet, and often stretch them out.

A Moorhen emerged from the Serpentine outflow, having climbed up the weir in a way that only a sure-footed Moorhen can manage. It may be nesting at the bottom. In previous years that have done this successfully and the chicks were able to climb out.

A Moorhen chick crossed the little waterfall in the Dell, quite sure of not losing its footing and being swept away.

A brief clip of the melodious call of the Black Swan. I think the one we have on the lake is female, as she was calling to a male Mute Swan.

There are two Canada Geese with speckled heads, one much more speckled than the other. They aren't hybrids -- this is something that occasionally happens to Canadas.

Pictures by Leone Tan  of the two broods of Mallard ducklings: the four on the Round Pond were sheltering under the solar panel ...

... and the three on the Serpentine were well concealed in a patch of weeds next to one of the small boathouses.


  1. It's great you have Hobbies breeding again in the park & with a successful outcome! I think they've been absent there for a year or two?

    I've been lucky to see one each time I've been out locally the last couple of days at different sites.

    1. Yes, they've bred in the park four times in the past ten years as far as I know -- they may have gone unnoticed in some other years as they always choose a different net site.