Monday 26 October 2020

An uncertain day produced a rainbow against a stormcloud.

The female Peregrine was back on the barracks, passing the time by preening.

The pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull is also very careful about his appearance. He knows he is the finest gull in the park.

While the Diana fountain is closed during the Great Panic, the deserted enclosure makes an excellent place for Herring Gulls to look for worms. Some of them were doing the worm dance, pattering their feet to imitate the sound or rain, which brings worms to the surface.

A Carrion Crow had a furious wash in the Serpentine.

Another jumped into a pool of water on the base of the standing stone in the Dell.

Before the Dell was railed off as a bird sanctuary in 1922 this stone was a drinking fountain, and you can still see the pipe that filled the pool.

The number of Starlings in the park is increasing, although the population is falling nationally. Some of them were ranging restlessly around the Round Pond looking for insects and scraps. If you have what looks like a bag of food, the whole flock will dash across the pond and surround you.

A Great Tit flitted about in the holly tree near the bridge, then ate a pine nut I gave it.

I didn't see the Coal Tit that is usually here, but Ahmet Amerikali did and got a good picture of it ...

... and also of a Goldcrest hanging upside down from a holly twig.

A Cormorant sprawled inelegantly on a post at the island. The black-bordered feathers of its wing coverts give a scaly effect which adds to its prehistoric look.

The Black Swan was still following the male Mute Swan around the Lido swimming area. This attracted the attention of the dominant male swan, who came over and chased it. The Black Swan had to wriggle over a gap in the line of buoys to get away.

This is the pair of Egyptians that I filmed preening each other on Friday. They are unusually affectionate.

A Tufted Duck at Peter Pan stood up to preen.


  1. Let us hope the rainbow portends good things. So far everything is looking evil.

    Imagine that the mob of starlings should surround passers by asking them to surrender their food to them - they are perfectly capable of using human-sounding voices.

    The expression on the Great Tit's face is so uncommonly intelligent!

    1. The Starlings are already using everything but words when they perch on the tables on the Lido restaurant. I wish I could wish of a way to teach them to say 'Feed me, feed me' in their high silvery voice.

  2. Some lovely photos as ever-particularly like the preening Lesser Black-back & Tufted Duck.

    When you say the Starlings are increasing in the park, did you mean generally through the year or now as continental birds are arriving? If breeding numbers are increasing there I'm slightly surprised given competition for nest holes with parakeets in particular.

    1. Yes, I really think that numbers are slowly increasing, as witnessed by the number of young birds seen in the summer. Parakeets steal their holes, but in a park full of old trees there is no lack of alternatives.