Wednesday 2 December 2020

A White-Fronted Goose is a rare visitor to central London. This one spent a while in Regent's Park before it came here yesterday.

Today it was grazing by itself in the enclosure of the Diana memorial fountain.

A pair of Egyptian Geese claimed territory on the sawn-off poplar at Peter Pan.

Tufted drakes are easy to film under water because their white sides show up well, but females are quite difficult. However, it's possible in the shallow water in front of Peter Pan when the water is clear.

A brief flash of sunshine lit up the Red-Crested Pochard in the Italian Garden.

The female Great Crested Grebe of the pair at the east end of the island was fishing under the platform at Bluebird Boats.

The pair from the other end of the island had a little display.

The Grey Heron in the Dell was eyeing the little pool at the top of the waterfall, but really I don't think there are any fish here as the water for the top level of the waterfall is recirculated by an electric pump (the Serpentine outflow emerges lower down). Maybe it just enjoyed the water flowing over its feet.

A Carrion Crow bathed in the Serpentine.

A fine close-up by Neil of one of the crows that haunt the bridge and waylay passers by for food.

A Great Spotted Woodpecker called from a tree near the Henry Moore sculpture.

The Dunnock at the Lido restaurant searched for bugs under a bench.

Tom sent this picture of a Short-Eared Owl -- not in the park, of course. Actually I don't know where he took it, but it's a lovely image.


  1. Pleased you connected with the Whitefront today- good shots. Hope it sticks around though many of yesterday's birds don't seem to have been reported today. Only other birds at the time of writing are of 2 at the London Wetland Centre & a good flock of 21 up the Lea Valley which has always been one of the top sites for this species in the wider London area. May try & get there on Friday if your bird is still there.

    1. The goose looked very settled in the Diana enclosure. Excellent grass -- the highest quality sports turf not recently mown -- and only a few Egyptians to contend with. Will of course try to keep tabs on it and report every evening.

  2. I went out yesterday, but haven't seen much that would get me excited. A robin, magpies, starlings and the rest of the usual ones (including a heron on a lamppost around the allotment). But I don't remember to have seen so many starlings and crows in Hyde Park before (like 2-3 years ago).
    I wonder how you come across these,for me, elusive species, like the woodpecker or the chaffinch? Do you usually just walk around and see "what's on offer" or do they prefer specific trees or plants?
    Re: peregrines, are you most likely to only see them in early hours-say at sunrise?

    1. Numbers of Carrion Crows and Starlings have definitely gone up over the last few years.

      You get to know the habitual places of Great Spotted and Green Woodpeckers, and both are quite vocal which makes them easy to notice if not to photograph.

      The Peregrines may be on the barracks tower at any time.

  3. I love the picture of the Short-Eared Owl. They are so elusive - all I have ever seen were rehabbed or tame birds at aviaries.

    The Crow looks like the ghost of the bridge, haunting visitors and asking for peanuts as the crossing fee.

    1. Yes, there is definitely something of Charon about that crow. An obol in the form of a peanut is required to cross. Fortunately the Westbourne does not have the same effect as Lethe,