Sunday 2 October 2022

Pigeon killing at the Round Pond

A Lesser Black-Backed Gull had killed a Feral Pigeon at the Round Pond and was eating it. A young one, probably its offspring, begged for a share. Surprisingly, the adult let it have a go, and even a Magpie wasn't chased away immediately. I think this may be the Lesser Black-Back with pale legs that I have seen hunting in Hyde Park at the Triangle car park.

The original pigeon killer was resting in his usual place on the Dell restaurant roof ...

... while a couple of Carrion Crows finished off the last scraps of his breakfast.

I reckon that between them several Lesser Black-Backed Gulls, one Herring Gull, and the resident pairs of Peregrines and Sparrowhawks must kill and eat at least 500 pigeons a year. It makes no difference to the population of pigeons, which is simply topped up from outside the park.

It took three visits to the Round Pond before the young Little Owl would appear out of the dead tree.

At the second visit an adult male called but I couldn't find it. Also a Great Spotted Woodpecker could be heard and seen in a nearby tree.

There was no sign of an owl at the Speke obelisk, but while I was looking for it a Jay arrived ...

... with a load of acorns ...

... and buried them at the foot of a tree.

A Magpie shone prettily in the afternoon sunshine.

A Grey Wagtail flew from the Serpentine to the edge of the Dell pool.

A Robin came out on a twig beside the Henry Moore sculpture.

The Coal Tit in the Flower Walk waited to be fed.

The Little Grebe could be seen at a distance on the Long Water.

A Cormorant perched on the edge of a pool in the Italian Garden, ignoring the Sunday visitors.

The cross old male Mute Swan has now definitely paired up with his new mate. They washed and preened together under the fountain.

The swan family that has invaded the Long Water are now firmly established on the gravel bank. Only four of the teenagers were here; the fifth was with a parent on the other side of the bridge.

A Migrant Hawker dragonfly perched on the railings at the back of the Lido.


  1. It is amazing how many pigeons must be predated in the park with no effect on their numbers, though pretty fecund birds.

    Some lovely portraits here of the Jays, Grey Wagtail & others.

    Enjoying what will be near the last of the dragonfly shots. Maybe another month left of Migrant Hawkers & Common Darters. Still seeing Willow Emeralds in various places. did you catch up with one in the park?

    1. No, I never saw a Willow Emerald in the park. Nor did anyone else as far as I know. Odd, after two very good years for them.

    2. So the one by myself with David Element must have been the sole record. They can be elusive at times!

    3. Yes. I checked those plants for days afterwards and never found another. I also checked the path along the east side of the Long Water where there had been plenty last year.

  2. Well, very happy that the old curmudgeon found love in the end.

    In the first video someone is calling the pigeon-eater "sinvergüenza", "shameless".

    1. Thanks for that splendid detail. I heard the Spanish and was wondering what it was about.

    2. Re-watching it, the tone of voice makes "Sinvergüenza" edge into "what a bastard" rather than "how shameless" territory.