Thursday 4 November 2021

A dramatic picture and video from Virginia. She had just come into Kensington Gardens when she saw a Sparrowhawk holding down its prey. She didn't have her proper camera, but photographed it with her phone. You can see from the victim's dark eye that it's a Stock Dove.

The hawk started to pluck it before eating it. The dove was still alive, and when the hawk was disturbed it escaped, hotly pursued. We don't know whether it was caught later.

A Feral Pigeon had died of natural causes beside the Serpentine. When I went by half an hour later a young Lesser Black-Backed Gull had found it and already eaten a good portion of it.

A Black-Headed Gull peacefully ate a bit of apple it had stolen from a Rose-Ringed Parakeet.

A pigeon made itself safe from Diana's arrow by perching on her bow. (This is not an enormous pigeon -- the statue is smaller than life size.)

The familiar bronze pigeon at Peter Pan made friends with one of the white pigeons with black markings on its back, which I call the Rorschach pigeons because the mark looks like one of the psychologist's ink blot tests.

Hunting on a smaller scale: a flock of Long-Tailed Tits searched for insects behind the Lido.

This Grey Wagtail is often seen catching midges in the Italian Garden. I think that both the young wagtails hatched in the summer are going to be permanent residents, unlike their parents who fly in from the old coal wharf at Chelsea Bridge.

A Cormorant took time off from fishing in the fountain pools to dry its wings.

A Cormorant and a Grey Heron pointedly ignored each other on the Mute Swans' nesting island. Each has its own very different style of fishing, so they never come into conflict.

The Peregrine was shifting restlessly on the crane in Knightsbridge ...

... and soon took off and rollicked around in the gusty wind.

Jays are reappearing after being busy burying acorns. The leaves of the horse chestnut it's perching in are brown and withered not with autumn but from the attacks of the Leaf Miner Moth.

A Wren perched on the yew hedge in the Flower Walk.

The male Mute Swan in the Italian Garden had a faceoff with the dominant male on the Long Water.

Bluebird Boats have closed down for the winter. They hope to be able to renew their contract and reopen in April, but it's still in the balance. Meanwhile the gulls have started to make an almighty mess of their boats.


  1. Crossing my fingers for the good folks at Bluebird Boats. Our letter-writing campaign on their behalf had a bit of success, didn't it? If necessary, it can be repeatedin Spring.

    The Pigeon perching on Diana's arrow is a perfect portrait of just
    what total bosses they are. They are the Honey Badgers of the avian world. Although they will sometime pay the price (I hope the dove managed to evade the Sparrowhawk, but unfortunately odds are that it didn't).

    1. I think we managed to get Bluebird's existing contract extended. I have a horrible feeling that the park management wants to make the lake more profitable by hosting some kind of hideous events that will frighten away the wildlife.

    2. Mynahs seem to be the honey badgers of the bird world, though it may have been the photographer that saved the day. Jim

    3. Sorry, unwatchable without submitting to an intrusive age verification ritual.

  2. Dramatic scenes with the Stock Dove. The Sparrowhawk look to be a bird of this year.

    Some lovely shots of Long-tailed Tit, Jay & Grey Wagtail.

    It was certainly a bitterly cold wind yesterday compared with preceding days as I was on a tree walk around Fulham Palace.

    1. The Sparrowhawk seems to be becoming a regular urban bird, just as the Peregrine has. When I was young the only urban raptors were Kestrels, and not many of them.