Saturday 19 June 2021

We definitely have another pigeon-killing gull, this time a Herring Gull. I've seen it hunting near the Triangle car park. Today it had just caught a Feral Pigeon and was starting to eat it.

I haven't seen our original pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull for several days, but shortly after I shot the previous video I saw a young Herring Gull eating the remains of a pigeon in the usual place near the Dell restaurant, so clearly he is still at work.

Two Wren fledglings and a parent hopped around under the bushes at the edge of the Rose Garden. (Unfortunately they were next to the public lavatory and the rural scene was interrupted by the noise of the hand dryer.)

A closer look at one of the fledglings, a bit damp from the grass.

A male Rose-Ringed Parakeet courted a female in a tree in the Rose Garden. She wasn't impressed.

A Blackcap ...

... and a Chiffchaff sang in trees beside the Long Water.

The Robin with the crooked toe is looking tatty from nesting and feeding young. It has started coming to my hand to collect pine nuts.

Ahmet Amerikali got pictures of a young Reed Warbler in the reeds near the Diana fountain ...

... and a parent bringing insects to feed it.

For several years a pair of Mute Swans have tried to nest behind the railings of the small boathouse. They have always failed till this year, but now they have managed two eggs and one of them has hatched. There is still a chance that the other one will.

Yesterday morning Julia Schmitt got a picture of the cygnet minutes after hatching and still wet.

And here it is today.

An unusual view of the two cygnets from the nest at the Lido restaurant terrace, taken by Mike Harris when he was swimming in the Serpentine at the club's early morning session.

It looks as if the Great Crested Grebes' nest in the fallen poplar at the Vista is hatching out. A parent brought a feather to give to a chick, which remained out of sight. Grebes of all ages eat feathers to wrap up fishbones and so prevent them from injuring their insides.

The eggs in the nest under the willow at the bridge have still to hatch. A parent was turning them over.

The two adults and their one chick were at the nest opposite Peter Pan.

A Gadwall drake preened on the dead willow near the Italian Garden.


  1. Very heartened to see that the grebe chick continues to do well. I know the moment of truth will come later, but for the moment let us rejoice that it is thriving and growing well.

    Can there be anything cuter than those fluffy and yet brave Wren fledglings? I wonder if the person using the lavatory would be aware of how close he or she was to the little birds going about their business.

    I wonder if the Herring Gull is aping the technique if our inimitable Pigeon Killer. I should expect interspecies learning must be a rare thing.

    Gogh, swan babies. I never tire of watching them.

    1. Interspecies learning does seem to occur among gulls. All four gull species commonly found in the park have been seen doing the worm dance, though Herring Gulls do it more than the others and may be presumed to have invented it. All gulls will eat dead pigeons, and it seems very likely that this Herring Gull saw the notorious Lesser Black-Back helping the process along.

  2. The victim of the Herring Gull looks to be a young bird. I'm surprised more of the large gulls haven't taken to this. Can imagine the tabloids having a field day if this were so!

    Great to see the families of Great crested Grebe & love the young Wren.

    1. Catching pigeons is a skill that has to be learnt. They can take off too fast to be caught by just flying at them. Our original gull watches them washing and preening on the edge of the lake. At some point they will close their eyes, and then he runs at them.