Thursday 25 March 2021

A new bird in the park, though not a wild one. The man who flies a Harris Hawk to scare away Feral Pigeons was on a visit to clear them from the balconies of the billionaires' flats grandiosely known as 'One Hyde Park'. Thanks to Will for this picture.

Soon after the man and his hawk had gone, the Peregrines returned to the barracks tower a couple of hundred yards up the road. This is the male looking down at me from the ledge on the 308 ft tower.

The pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull and his mate were at their favourite perch on the roof of the Dell restaurant. There was a partly eaten dead Coot on the shore below, but I don't think he has graduated to killing Coots and it must have died of some other cause.

The Egyptian Geese with six goslings on the Serpentine had to take to the water in a hurry when an idiot let his dog loose. The male is seen here bravely defying the dog, though it was a big Labrador and I doubt he could have made much impression on it.

The single gosling on the other side of the lake is being closely guarded by its mother.

The seven at the Henry Moore sculpture are still with us, despite being surrounded by Carrion Crows.

The Mute Swans that were nesting in, and destroying, the reed bed at the east end of the Serpentine were looking very aggrieved. The netting that they had broken down to get in has been repaired, and there is now a wire along the top to stop them from breaking it again.

Two pairs of swans tried to dominate each other on the Long Water.

The Black Swan preened her ruffles on the gravel bank.

A Dunnock sang in a bush in the Rose Garden.

A Blue Tit sang and climbed around in a tree beside the Serpentine.

The Long-Tailed Tits near the Italian Garden had gone along the path to look for insects in a clump of trees. They need constant refuelling during their long task of building the nest.

A Pied Wagtail was also after insects at the east end of the Serpentine.

A Feral Pigeon perched on a fallen branch to drink from the Long Water.

Ravens have been reported recently in several places around London, and Tom found one at Rainham Marshes.


  1. I hope they aren't the Ravens from the Tower looking for a new place.

    I have read that Putin was astounded when one of the Ravens from the Tower said "Good morning" to him and to every member of his entourage in one of his earliest visits to GB. I am reminded of the anecdote about Augustus being greeted, adter Actium, by a Raven which had been trained to say "Greetings, Caesar, our victorious commander".

    1. If the Yeoman Warders had taught their crow to greet Putin with a flattering phrase in Russian, he might have given them £20,000 for it, as happened to the man who got his raven to flatter Augustus.

  2. It's amazing how many Harris Hawks around there are. As you say they are regularly used by falconers to scare pigeons & gulls away from sites but there are quite a few at liberty now. They have been recorded breeding in the wild now at least a couple of times & also in mixed pairs with Buzzards.

    Your Egyptian Geese seem to be having more luck holding onto their goslings this year, though early days yet as they are still small. I saw a brood of 9 small ones in Richmond Park yesterday. Nice to see my first Sand Martins of the year there too.

    1. A couple of years ago there was an escaped Harris Hawk in St James's Park for several weeks. It had not yet managed to chew off its jesses. I went there and got some pictures. Don't know what happened to it in the end.

      The London Bird Club Wiki had a record of a Swallow in Gillespie Park yesterday. Spring is sprung.