Saturday 11 November 2023

A visiting cygnet

A sunny morning tempted the female Little Owl at the Round Pond on to her usual horse chestnut tree, which is getting too leafless for concealment but for the moment she wasn't being bothered.

The female Peregrine looked down from her ledge. The male was at the back, occasionally partly visible and it was clear that he was eating a pigeon. She can catch her own pigeon any time she wants.

Starlings at the Lido restaurant terrace were being given cake crumbs by a kind soul, to the disapproval of the restaurant staff.

The lake edge of the terrace is often visited by the young Grey Wagtail, which is interested in the insects attracted by spilt food. A Dunnock is sometimes seen here too, for the same reason.

The dominant Robin in the Flower Walk was waiting impatiently. He came down to collect six pine nuts, the most he has taken in one go so far.

This Blue Tit stays farther along the path, so isn't bothered by him.

The Robin often seen at the northwest corner of the bridge was in the collapsed weeping willow tree which is a favourite place for many kinds of bird.

At the other end of the bridge a Great Tit looked out of a holly tree ...

... and Ahmet Amerikali got a good picture of a Goldcrest.

I thought this was going to be a family group of the pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull, on the left here, with his mate and son. But on closer inspection it was another female, so the young gull could be anybody's.

His mate was on the lake shore. She gave me a look as if to say, Just look at the way he's carrying on.

A young Herring Gull played with a peanut it had grabbed from a Carrion Crow. The older gulls know that peanuts are edible and can easily crush the shells with their powerful bills, but to this young one it was an amusing rolling toy.

A young Grey Heron stood on the old Coot nest at the bridge, peering intently into the wire basket for a sign of a perch.

Later the heron went to the reed bed under the Diana fountain later, where it was joined by a Magpie. Some of the reeds have been cut down, as should be done from time to time so that they don't get too straggly. The cut area is a good place for accessible fish for the heron and insects for the Magpie.

Someone gave one of the young Moorhens in the Italian Garden a bit of crust from a sandwich.

The Mute Swan in the Italian Garden had squeezed into one of the planters through a hole in the netting and was poking in the water. The hole was cut for Coots, which have torn down most of the clump of purple loosestrife, and probably the swan was looking for snails in the underwater remnants.

A teenage cygnet has turned up unexpectedly near the southeast corner of the Serpentine. It has a plastic ring, Orange 4FYW, which Bill Haines identified for me. The cygnet is female and was ringed in Regent's Park on 19 October. Let's hope it doesn't run foul of the killer swan. He is now spending most of his time on the Long Water.


  1. Great photos of course. I love the way you use them to tell a story. I wonder if the moorhen ate the bread?

    1. Yes, it did, delicately picking bits off till it was all gone