Friday 22 September 2023

Foxes back in the Dell

The male Little Owl at the Round Pound preened in a horse chestnut tree.

The male at the Serpentine Gallery was also visible in the usual lime.

The Jackdaw population around the Dell is increasing, and today four arrived in quick succession to ask for peanuts. They are much more polite in their demands than the pushy Carrion Crows.

The yew tree by the bridge has a good crop of fruit. A Great Tit perched on a twig. I don't think they eat yew fruit, and it was more interested in getting a pine nut from me.

Both the Peregrines were on the tower, close but out of sight of each other on either side of the concrete rib.

The pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull tried rushing into a crowd of feeding Feral Pigeons to grab one, but they managed to evade him. If a pigeon sees him coming it's almost always quick enough to escape, and his success depends on taking them by surprise.

It's easy to forget what a beautiful view there is looking down the Long Water, created around 1730 by Charles Bridgeman, from the Italian Garden created by Prince Albert in 1860s. It's one of the few remaining vistas not disfigured by a modern tower block.

It doesn't show in the long view above, but the bank south of Peter Pan is a tangle of fallen trees. Clearing them away is made impossible by health and safety regulations, so they are just left to lie in the water till they fall apart. They make ideal perches for Grey Herons and Cormorants.

The Mute Swan family were at Peter Pan passing the time by preening until they saw some well-meaning person with a bag of unhealthy bread.

The Black Swan flew to the Round Pond yesterday. He was reported to be in a filthy temper, and had probably lost a fight with the murderous male swan in the previous picture. By the time I saw him today he had calmed down.

The Canada Goose with the speckled head is looking unkempt around the neck, a sign that he is still not feeling himself after his ordeal with the fishing weight stuck in his bill. But he is eating and expected to be all right soon.

The single Great Crested Grebe chick at the Serpentine island tried begging from one parent and then the other, but they were preening and not in the mood for fishing at the moment. It does get well fed, though.

The four chicks on the Long Water were dashing about all over the lake.

The three young Moorhens in the Italian Garden also wander around and may be seen anywhere in the area.

The previous family of foxes in the Dell were removed by the park management, always more concerned with tidiness than with the welfare of wildlife. We were told that they had been 'relocated' which, if true, meant that they would have been dumped in another family's territory, resulting in a serious fight. It was a completely pointless act because a few days later more foxes have come in to fill the gap. The Dell is an ideal territory for them, protected from people and dogs by railings which the slim foxes can squeeze through.

Oxeye daisies in the Rose Garden attracted a crowd of Honeybees ...

... and a Common Banded Hoverfly, Syrphus ribesii.


  1. For Christ sake! Just leave the Foxes be. They are lovely creatures.

  2. I second your sentiments, Sean....lovely photos of the insects Ralph....regards , Stephen.

    1. London has as many foxes as it can hold. To remove one family is absolutely pointless, it will be replaced by another. The park managers are strangers to thought.