Tuesday 20 October 2020

The Lesser Black-Backed Gull which I filmed earlier killing a Feral Pigeon beside the Serpentine struck again, this time on the other side of the bridge on the Long Water. Meanwhile, the original pigeon eater was having a meal of his own at the far end of the lake. I don't actually know whether these gulls are father and son, but it's quite likely. The young one is almost certainly male, since it's large.

It's difficult for gulls to rip pigeons apart, especially in the water, because they can't hold the victim with their small weak feet. The pigeon eater often hangs them over the edge of the kerb to anchor them.

The Black-Headed Gull EZ73323 looked down serenely from its favourite place on a notice board.

Moorhens enjoy knocking these small gulls off posts. This teenager removed two of them in quick succession.

An Egyptian Goose preened his mate. This is not just a display of affection, as he gets a snack of fleas and mites.

More Shovellers have arrived on the Long Water. Some of them were asleep under the shelter of a fallen tree.

A fine picture of a Tufted drake splashing down, by Ahmet Amerikali.

A strange cargo was being shipped to the small boathouse that is used as a store by Bluebird Boats. A Cormorant hastily got out of the way.

A dramatic picture by Ahmet of a Cormorant taking off. These heavy birds need quite a long run to get airborne.

A flock of Long-Tailed Tits went along the side of the Long Water ...

... taking some Blue Tits with them.

Many small birds join these winter feeding flocks: tits of all kinds and often small warblers such as Chiffchaffs and Goldcrests.

This portrait of a Goldcrest near the bridge is again by Ahmet.

A Magpie climbed up an oak, looking for insects in the deeply fissured bark.

There were three Feral Pigeons at Peter Pan with Rorschach ink blot patterns, presumably siblings.

The Grey Squirrels in the park have become so used to being fed by humans that people can stroke them. But you do have to watch out for their teeth, which are as sharp as woodworker's chisels.

It's always good to see a bit of art in the park. I much prefer this to the stuff at the Serpentine Gallery.


  1. Any sign of the little owls, Ralph?
    I have been down to look for them in the lime trees around the Henry Moore statue a few time recently but neither seen or heard them.
    Got a good sighting of a green woodpecker and lovely mistle thrush at Buck Hill earlier today.

    1. No sightings of Little Owls for several weeks, though occasional calls heard. I do report everything about them in the blog.

    2. Waiting with bated breath. I am sure if they can be found, Ralph will find them.

      The video of the teenage Moorhen knocking gulls off their posts is hilarious. It looks so determined to have its fun by evicting the gulls.

      Very pleasing chalk drawing, miles better than any modern Turner prize.

    3. The Little Owls on Buck Hill are certainly there, and Paul heard one of them recently. But they are in a group of horse chestnut trees where, despite frequent efforts, I've never been able to see them. There is also a reasonable hope of seeing the new one at the Round Pond when the leaves have fallen.

  2. I've not yet stroked a squirrel, but have been scratched attempting to do so. Although this was some years ago, in Queen Square. (Haven't tried since.) Their claws are as bad as their teeth.

    1. I leave the squirrels strictly alone. They still try to climb up my trouser legs when I stop to photograph something, a particular nuisance when I'm doing a video and trying to keep still for half a minute.

    2. An uninvited one jumped onto my arm in St James' Park the other day; getting too bolshie.