Tuesday, 17 November 2020

A young Herring Gull dived repeatedly in the shallows at the edge of the lake. It might have found a crayfish or even a fish, or maybe a stone to play with, but the only stone it found was too small to bother with and was rejected.

Today the pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull was more active in keeping the Carrion Crows away from his lunch ...

... but they still got in when he paused for a moment.

A Cormorant jumped on to a post at the island.

An area at the bottom of the newly grassed surround of the Henry Moore sculpture has been swamped by recent rain and the grass hasn't sprouted properly. But there are plenty of other things in the mud for Moorhens to eat.

The female Mute Swan on the Long Water forced ashore by the dominant male found a patch of rich grass and weeds unnoticed by the other swans. She has now come back of her own accord to enjoy it.

The elderly and arthritic Canada x Greylag hybrid goose, which finds walking painful, has no problem in swimming quite briskly.

Geese call to each other to signal that they want to fly, and others may join in the call and take off together. This Greylag Goose got only one companion, as the rest were comfortable grazing in the Diana fountain enclosure.

A pair of Gadwalls dabbled together ...

... and the solitary Pochard drake preened at the Vista.

Today it was the turn of the female Peregrine to visit the tower in the morning ...

... and her mate turned up in the afternoon, as usual perching well away from her and actually out of sight.

The strayed racing pigeon which I photographed on 12 September has definitely decided that it prefers the park to its loft, in spite of the threats from Peregrines, Sparrowhawks and the notorious gull.

Feral Pigeons collected on top of the Henry Moore. A few of them pecked at the soft travertine marble, which birds seem to find a useful source of calcium.

A male Chaffinch looked around from a tree near the bridge. For a small bird constant vigilance is needed to stay alive.

A Robin beside the Long Water sang a few phrases, and flew away just as I turned on the video camera.


  1. I ve been willing to ask you , I have seen the little owl female a few times in the past couple of weeks but she has been discreet for a month before that. Are you aware of any records of Barn and long eared owls in the park ? It s not very good for barn owls and the long eared like larger spaces but I was just wondering . đŸ¤”

    1. Where did you see the Little Owl? I take it you're referring to the one on Buck Hill. I think she is in one of the three horse chestnut trees just to the west of the allotment and the park offices, but I've never been able to see her there despite repeated efforts. The male ranges father afield and may be anywhere on Buck Hill.

      A Barn Owl was seen at Hyde Park Corner on 11 May 1950. There is no record of a Long-Eared Owl in the park.

  2. Hope she'll be seen again soon. I imagine when trees lose their leaves she'll be a bit easier to spot.

    Very glad that the female swan eventually got to benefit from being pushed ashore by the bullying swan. The grass looks delicious, from a swan's point of view.

    Diving gulls are always rewarding to see. They act like miniature gannets.

    1. Any information about Little Owls will get me scurrying about under the trees. Far too long since I last saw one.

      Herring Gulls only do quick shallow dives. They don't have a Gannet's ability to swim under water. But they do catch fish sometimes.

  3. Lovely shot of the Gadwall- such understated beauties!

    Seeing the domestic pigeon did you see the crazy price one went for earlier this week- 1.6 million euros! Crazy money!

    1. Hope it doesn't decide to go native like this one, lovingly reared but now worthless to its owner. But pigeons don't care about silly human things like money.

    2. I read it was a Chinese pigeon fancier. They have money to burn. Like Arab sheikhs and raptors.

    3. Pigeons seems an unlikely hobby for the rich, but I am told that our late Queen Mother was a fancier.