Wednesday 16 December 2020

 A Moorhen advanced on a Black-Headed Gull on a post, which looked round apprehensively ...

... and fled.

This Black-Headed Gull isn't walking on water. It's on the just-submerged wall of the old water filter below the marble fountain in the Italian Garden, part of the mysterious, huge and now disused steam-powered works of the fountains.

The pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull was eating part of a crayfish as a Carrion Crow advanced ...

... and stole it. The gull can't uses his small weak feet to grip his prey, but the crow can hold it down firmly, which makes it easier to eat and harder to steal.

Apart from the predatory pigeon eater, the big gulls seem uncertain about crayfish. This Lesser Black-Back had hauled one out of the water, but the crayfish was waving its pincers and the gull was clearly worried and backed off.

A crow approached and was just as nervous. In the end both left the crayfish alone, and I put it back in the lake.

The Goldeneye was in his usual place at the east end of the Serpentine.

He is having trouble with Herring Gulls, which think he's like a Great Crested Grebe or Cormorant and will surface with a fish that they can try to grab, but all he brings up is strands of algae. Anyway, he has to crash dive.

A pair of Gadwalls in the Italian Garden fountains upended to eat the algae which reach up to within a short way of the surface.

The new grass under the Henry Moore sculpture is growing well, to the delight of the resident pair of Egyptian Geese.

A Long-Tailed Tit paused for a moment in a bush at the southeast corner of the bridge.

The next bush is a Euonymus, producing odd-looking fruit.

On the other side of the bridge a crowd of Great Tits was waiting to be fed.

There's a family of Great Spotted Woodpeckers at the southeast corner of Hyde Park, near Hyde Park Corner. This is a male, as you can see by the red patch on the back of his neck.


  1. I'm glad you put the crayfish back; nobody was eating it anyway.

    1. It's odd that so many crayfish seem to be falling to gulls now. The population in the lake seems to go in boom and bust cycles and there have been mass die-offs every few years, but these crayfish seem to be alive when hauled out.

  2. That was a valiant crayfish. It proves that putting up a fight will make your opponent think twice, even if it is a gull.

    The Egyptian seems in raptures among the new grass.

    Cheers for the Moorhen: she does it because she can.

    1. Moorhens really to seem to have fun. I suppose Coots do in their constant fighting, but climbing and saying Boo to gulls seem much more estimable pursuits.

  3. Interesting to see the behaviour of the different birds with the crayfish. The pigeon killer seems to be a particularly intelligent individual.

    Loved seeing the Moorhen behaving like a teenage bully intimidating the Moorhen.

    Presume the Whitefront has moved on as I haven't seen it reported for a few days now?

  4. The Whitefront has definitely gone -- or rather 'Whitefronts', as we had four at one time. Still a few lingering in the London area yesterday, I see, before they move on.

  5. Hi you should use a self hosted custom domain instead if a blogspot domain. That would be way better than this. Btw I came here from your channel.

    1. Yes, I know it would be better. But I'm producing this blog single-handed every single day of the year, and I need a platform that's as simple and quick to use as possible.