Tuesday 8 August 2023

Pigeon Eater Junior

This young Lesser Black-Backed Gull is the offspring of Pigeon Eater and his mate. I believe the pair nest on the roof of the Dell restaurant, though it's impossible to see. The young gull called constantly, not exactly begging since it had a large meal provided by its father. It followed its mother for a while. Father was on his usual perch on the corner of the roof.

It was a drizzly day. A Magpie was getting rather soggy on an urn in the Italian Garden.

The Reed Warbler in the reeds below was busy getting insects for the chicks.

A Great Tit near the Henry Moore sculpture had found a tiny yellow larva.

There are still plenty of blackberries for this Song Thrush just along the path.

A young Blackbird nattered to itself in a damp bush at the back of the Lido. Blackbirds like rain, which brings worms to the surface.

The male Little Owl at the Round Pond had come indoors to get out of the rain, and was looking out of the hole in the dead tree.

I met the Hyde Park manager Dave Jordan, who told me that a juvenile Hobby had been sighted north of the Serpentine. The Hobbies nested twice here this year, in Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, both times losing their offspring to Carrion Crows or Magpies. It looks as if a third nest, apparently outside the park, has been successful.

A Grey Heron stood under a clump of purple loosestrife in the Italian Garden.

The Great Crested Grebes at the bridge were feeding their three chicks.

A pair came under the bridge from the Serpentine. I think this is the pair that nested unsuccessfully at the Diana fountain landing stage. It's not too late for them to start again if they can find a site on the east side of the Long Water away from the other two pairs.

The family with four were in their usual spot on the east side of the lake, evidently a good fishing place.

The Little Grebe on the Long Water probed a patch of algae from above and below. This must be full of small edible creatures.

The invading Mute Swans continue their relentless advance. The resident pair and their two cygnets were holding the line at the posts by Peter Pan ...

... but the other family were getting very near. You can see their five cygnets in the background.

The Black Swan was preening his fine new white wing feathers on the Serpentine.

The Mandarin drake in eclipse came ashore at the Vista to be fed.


  1. The shallow area on the Long Water for the Little Grebe seems to be the perfect habitat for it.

    Pigeon Eater Junior is already living up to his fathers reputation. He’ll be catching his own in no time!

  2. I wonder why none of Pigeon Eater's offspring have learned their father's hunting tricks so far. Anyone'd think he would have have passed it along for posterity.
    A Swan's life is such a tiring thing. Always plotting conquest.

    1. Several other gulls have had tried to follow Pigeon Eater's example but with only sporadic success. It's a skill that has to be developed.

      I'm afraid that swans have the same outlook as Conan the Barbarian.
      Barbarian General: 'Conan, what is best in life?'
      Conan: 'To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women.'

    2. Now I'm picturing Schwarzenegger with a swan face!

  3. I wondered what had happened with the hobby nest, thanks for the update. i'm surprised they can't see off magpies and crows - I saw one vanquish a marsh harrier in Essex this weekend

    1. A moment off the nest, and a crow sees its chance.