Wednesday 16 November 2022

A pigeon has a lucky escape

Heavy overnight rain provided Feral Pigeons with a bathing pool behind the Albert Memorial.

But the sun came out, and with it the Little Owl at the Round Pond.

A Long-Tailed Tit perched amid autumn leaves by the Long Water.

A Jackdaw stared from the splintered stump of a fallen poplar ...

... a Carrion Crow was also staring from a topiary bush at Kensington Palace ...

... and so was a Herring Gull on the solar panel at the Lido.

We've seen this Lesser Black-Backed Gull before, hunting pigeons at the Triangle car park. It was holding a bread roll away from a young Herring Gull that was trying to grab it ...

... when it saw something tastier within reach and made a lunge.

The pigeon struggled free at the cost of some feathers ...

... so it was back to the bread roll.

A Common Gull just along the shore ignored the kerfuffle.

A Grey Heron posed elegantly in a reed bed on the Long Water.

A Moorhen preened in the reeds by the Italian Garden.

A single female Teal appeared at the far side of the Vista.

There were still some Buff-Tailed Bumblebees on the berberis in the Rose Garden.

Here I met a beekeeper who was watching them with interest, and we saw one late Honeybee. I showed her yesterday's picture of the tiny insect on the pollen bag of the bumblebee, and she had never seen it either. She told me that the beehives are being removed from Holland Park, and that two of them are going to be put in the garden of the west lodge at Prince of Wales Gate. There are already hives in the Ranger's Lodge garden.

This is not her, but we've seen this woman before, on 7 October, asleep in exactly the same place on the edge of the Diana fountain. It's one of the splashy bits of the watercourse. Maybe she finds the sound soothing.


  1. I remember her. We all wondered what she was doing in that place. Odd though it may be, it must be some sort of habit.

    I guess bees will be taking refuge in their beehives soon to pass the winter (at least wild bees do that here - many die, but the shelter offered by their beehives saves quite a lof of them from the winter cold).

    Amazing action sequence starring another pigeon killer. It does have such a cold, calculating, malicious eye.

    1. Her feet are a lot dirtier this time. Not sure whether she actually has shoes on the far site of the granite drain.

      Every time I see a bee now in the Rose Garden I think it must be the last one, but the weather remains quite mild and there are always flowers of some kind even in the dead of winter.

      It's the yellowness of large gulls' eyes that gives them that merciless look. The Common Gull in the next picture has dark eyes and looks quite kind, and Black-Headed Gulls actually look sweet. But they're all gulls and do what a gull does.

  2. A very lucky escape for that pigeon!

    I see bumblebees in my garden in small numbers through the winter. Almost exclusively Buff-tailed & at the moment the big attractions are Mahonia x media, Fatsia japoica & Clematis cirrhosa that's rampantly growing through the Mahonia.

    1. I think I'm getting Berberis and Mahonia mixed up in my blog. I was never any good at garden plants. No bees seen today, as it was quite windy.

  3. Interesting you should say that Ralph as some botanists included Mahonia within the genus Berberis, but this isn't universally accepted. Certainly Stace, the UK botanist's bible, treats them as separate, closely related genera.
    Certainly gardeners would see them as different, though Berberis are pretty variable with some deciduous & others evergreen.

    1. Thanks for the information. In my case it's just vague ignorance.