Tuesday 29 June 2021

The Herring Gull that has started killing pigeons was eating its latest victim in the territory of the original pigeon-killing Lesser Black-Back, who was there and watching but didn't intervene. There would have been a fight, and there are enough pigeons for all.

There is yet another pigeon killer, this Lesser Black-Back. It was at the Triangle car park, which is also the hunting ground of the Herring Gull above. I saw it recently here with a pigeon remnant from a kill, but it had certainly caught this one itself.

A young Herring Gull had to be content with a crayfish.

A Grey Heron fished from the dead willow near the Italian Garden.

A young Grey Wagtail perched on a rock by the Dell waterfall.

The House Martin colony on the Kuwaiti Embassy was busy, with several active nests. A bird dropped out of the cornice, neatly avoiding the anti-pigeon spikes. You can just see the nest on the plaster rose above.

A Wood Pigeon ate mixed weeds in a shrubbery near the bridge.

A Goldfinch sang from a television aerial in Rutland Street, south of the park.

The Great Crested Grebe under the willow by the bridge rested on the nest while the single chick wriggled about.

These Great Crested Grebes on the Serpentine had been displaying briskly ...

... and when they dived it looked as though they were going to do their weed dance. But only one of them came up with weed, so the moment fizzled out. One of them gave a disappointed shrug.

There is a new grebe nest on the island, unfortunately behind the wire baskets so you can't see it properly.

It's uncomfortably close to the existing nest, so there will be conflict. This nest is about to hatch. It's also about to be lost from view as the plants grow up around it, so let's hope the chicks emerge soon.

The single Mute cygnet from the nest at the boathouse strolled along the edge of the lake.

One of the brood of ten young Greylag Geese had a preen ...

... and a flap, showing that its primary feathers are emerging.

Peacock butterfly caterpillars crawled around on a nettle, their usual food plant.


  1. The Grebe baby looks like it is trying to fluff up its parent's feathers to make itself more comfortable, kind of like when we fluff up a pillow.

    I am disappointed too, but failure to see eye-to-eye can happen to the most well adjusted couples.

    1. There's a pair of grebes on the lake that keep making a mess of their dance, getting it wrong time and time again, and I think these are they although they are not at their usual end of the lake. But they have stayed together for years. There are worse things than being bad at dancing.

  2. I wonder whether the pigeon catching will spread more in the large gulls? I don't get the impression they are learning from each other a lot.

    Good to know the House Martins are thriving as it seems very local in London. I see a small number in Barnes & the colony at Ruislip Lido.

    1. Gulls are eating the remains of other gulls' pigeon kills, and this may give them the idea of killing for themselves.

      There's another inner London House Martin colony on Rossmore House, a large block of flats at the corner of Rossmore St and Park St west of Regent's Park.

  3. Good to know there is at least one other colony in inner London.

  4. So sorry about the Great Crested Grebe.

    1. We are all very sad. But these things happen in the natural world.