Friday 4 December 2020

The Carrion Crows are beginning to give the pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull a very hard time. Two approached him while he was eating a crayfish he had caught, with the clear intention of stealing it. I didn't get the moment of the snatch because the Herring Gull on the right moved in front of it.

The crows flew away a safe distance on to the Parade Ground and ate it.

A Herring Gull ripped pieces out of the newly laid turf beside the Serpentine, looking for insects and worms.

A crow had the same idea.

A female Pied Wagtail hunted insects on the Crystal Palace site in Hyde Park, ignoring the much larger Feral Pigeons.

A male Pied Wagtail was hunting along the edge of the Serpentine.

Both the Peregrines were on the barracks tower. The male, on the left, was pecking at some prey he had caught. He didn't offer to share it with his mate. She can catch her own pigeons very efficiently any time she likes.

A Nuthatch appeared by the leaf yard, and Tom got a picture of it before it flew away, shortly before I arrived. It looks like a female. The Nuthatch I photographed here recently was male, so there are a pair.

A Starling looked jaunty on a post near the leaf yard.

A Jackdaw looked hungry, and of course got a peanut when I had taken this picture.

So did the Jay which waits for me in the arbutus near the bridge.

The usual Coal Tit was on the other side of the bridge. You just can't help photographing these charming little birds.

Another superb picture of a Short-Eared Owl by Tom, from a location in north London which it would be unwise to disclose as too many people, some of them irresponsible, are turning up to photograph it and are beginning to bother it.

The Goldeneye on the Serpentine came closer today ...

... and spent a bit more time on the surface.

The White-Fronted Goose is still in the Diana fountain enclosure.

One of the young Great Crested Grebes was fishing with a parent on the Serpentine. They are now on equal terms, but the young one probably isn't catching as many fish.


  1. I hope to get a hour or two in the park tomorrow so will try and see the Goldeneye and the White-fronted Goose

  2. When do young Grebes begin to look fully adult? It looks very young still.

    It was only a matter of time before Crows devised some sort of communal strategy to rob Pigeon Killer.

    1. A young grebe's first breeding plumage is usually a bit sparse, so the answer is probably next autumn when it goes into a new set of winter plumage.

  3. A good mix of birds there Ralph. A rather glum day yesterday but still a big improvement on Thursday's wash-out, so I took the tube to Queensway & walked along the path parallel to the Bayswater Rd to the Italian Garden, down the length of the Long Water/Serpentine & then on to St. James Park. Wonderfully close views of the Russian White-fronted Goose with the Goldeneye not too far away repeatedly diving. Good to see these birds in such an urban environment-especially the goose which was on its own. What struck me on my walk was the general lack of smaller passerines with the exception of a couple of tit flocks, some Starlings & a single Pied Wagtail.

    1. The north edge of Kensington Gardens has been badly affected by the shortage of Blackbirds -- usually you'd see three or more here in the hedge. But I managed to see two elsewhere today, and also plenty of Great Tits, a few Blue Tits, two Robins and the family of Chaffinches at the southwest corner of the bridge. And two Song Thrushes were singing on either side of the Long Water.