Tuesday 22 September 2020

The pigeon-killing Lesser Black-Backed Gull kills more than he and his mate can eat, so -- strangely for a gull -- he is actually a provider of food for other birds. Here a young Herring Gull and another Lesser Black-Back, not his mate, finish off his leftover breakfast.

At the time I filmed this he was already stalking his lunch.

The main item on the menu today was crayfish, which was being eaten by a young Herring Gull ...

... a Coot ...

... and a Great Crested Grebe.

Pike was also popular with another grebe ...

... and a Cormorant.

Thanks to Ahmet Amerikali for the last four pictures.

A Moorhen balanced on a chain looked down at its mate in the water.

A pair of Greylag Geese enjoyed a splashy wash together.

A preening Egyptian showed off its iridescent green secondary feathers.

There was a female Pintail at the Vista, which it first I mistook for a male Gadwall.

It's years since I saw a Pintail on the lake. The opening of the Wetland Centre and other reserves along the river has much reduced the number of minority ducks seen in the park, as they now have better places to go.

A Hobby was hunting over the Long Water. It was fairly high when it passed over me, but Ahmet, who was on the other side of the lake, caught it in a low pass.

Its feet were down because it was holding a dragonfly it had caught.

A Carrion Crow snatched an apple from the people feeding the Rose-Ringed Parakeets and took it away to where it could eat in peace.

A Goldcrest in the leaf yard came out on a twig for a moment ...

... and a Long-Tailed Tit stayed still even more briefly, allowing just one shot.

A unicorn in a tutu passed down Rotten Row, as they do.


  1. I don't think I want to know what a pink unicorn's business with the park is.

    They may be still only for a brief second, but pictures of the Long Tailed Tits are always one of the blog's shining stars.

    Another unique character trait of our Pigeon Killer: he gives everybody else free lunch.

    There is something very disturbing in the Coot's look of happiness. It is looking only too eager to dismantle the unfortunate crayfish. If Coots were ostrich-sized everybody else in their vicinity would not be long for this world.

    1. Heaven knows what was in the unicorn's rucksack. And I've never before seen any creature wearing both a rucksack and a tutu.

      If giant Coots ruled the world I don't think they could be any more stupid or voracious than our existing politicians, and at least they would have a better grasp of reality.

  2. Interesting to see all the "fish" diners!

    Pintail is a very good record!

    1. The crayfish in the lake go through boom and bust cycles. At the moment it's boom, and they are scuttling all around the shallow edges of the lake and even Coots can catch them. We used to have both Turkish and Signal crayfish, both of them of course foreign and I think both induced deliberately by a mysterious person who had a secret crayfish trap and used to come in under cover of darkness, collect his catch, and sell them to restaurants. The last bust seems to have wiped out the Signals, and all crayfish recently seen have been Turkish.