Sunday 28 November 2021

The one and only Mistle Thrush on Buck Hill waited in a plane tree for a visit to eat rowan fruit. Even when they aren't in a flock they have this habit of making a quick raid on a fruit tree and then flying away to digest their pickings. Maybe this behaviour makes them less exposed to predators that might be watching the fruit tree.

However, when it landed it found a Magpie on another branch. It glanced round nervously.

The female Chaffinch in the Flower Walk is getting very familiar and nearly came to Neil's hand. Several years ago there was a Chaffinch in the leaf yard that could be hand fed.

There is no difficulty in hand feeding the confident Coal Tit. Indeed, it follows you along the path asking for more.

A Long-Tailed Tit was backlit in the bushes near Peter Pan.

The Grey Wagtail on the Serpentine found a small larva in the fallen leaves.

A pair of Carrion Crows perched in the top of a twisty tree near the Italian Garden.

Crows ate the remains of the pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull's breakfast. He had had enough, and let them get on with it. He is getting milder as he ages -- except towards pigeons.

The sunlight made a rainbow in a fountain in the Italian Garden.

Behind it, a Grey Heron stood on the edge of a pool. Herons are usually very shy birds, but the ones in the park are accustomed to humans and take no notice of them unless they seem to have food. (And yes, I did ask the parents of the little girl if I could show this video.)

The heron at the Dell restaurant looked up eagerly as some people arrived at a table on the terrace.

Several young Herring Gulls in turn picked up a banana skin, decided it wasn't good to eat, and dropped it.

A young Cormorant gazed severely at a pair of Moorhens on the little island in the Long Water.

A Moorhen at the edge of the Serpentine looked rather fine in the low winter sunshine.

The two young Great Crested Grebes on the Long Water hung out together. They are now completely independent, and when their parent caught a fish in the background they didn't react.

Pochards appear and disappear on the Long Water. I think they're always there, but spend a lot of their time hidden in the bushes. Once this autumn I counted 21 of them, but have never seen as many again. Often you see none at all.


  1. You should have seen me crying "on My God!" over the Heron video. My head just exploded - have seen several Herons over the weekend and they all would just up and leave as soon as we even got out of the car.

    Very good news about hte young Grebes: their perfect indiference means that they can fend for themselves.

    How old is Pigeon Killer?

    1. You should see the way the herons follow the people who feed them regularly, trotting after them like dogs.

      I first noticed Pigeon Killer in 2008, when he was already a full adult, that is four years old. So he must be at least 17. He may live well past 30.

    2. Maybe herons have a folk memory of being hunted, or targeted by guardians of fish ponds. I wonder what that one would have been stalking from that distance? Jim

    3. That pond has perch in it. Probably carp too, as the one next to it does. Contents of the four pools is not the same, as it depends on eggs brought in on the feet of birds since the pools were drained and repaired a few years ago.