Sunday 10 December 2023

Word gets out among the Wood Pigeons

It was a drizzly morning but it gradually cleared up and there were even some sunny spells in the afternoon. The wind had dropped and the Grey Heron claiming a nest on the island was back in place. There's no sign of it having a mate here.

Another looked ornamental on a post in the reed bed by the Vista.

The Black-Headed Gull on the landing stage came ashore to chase another gull out of its territory ...

... but was then ousted itself by a Herring Gull landing in the corner where it likes to stand.

A Black-Headed Gull on a post at Peter Pan looked down apprehensively at a Moorhen that looked as if it was about to jump up and knock it off.

The young Great Crested Grebe on the Serpentine is mostly fishing for itself, but it still goes off from time to time to pester its parents and they are still feeding it occasionally. It's going to have to fend for itself soon, a testing time for young grebes -- but this one seems active and energetic and I've seen it catching a fish.

I don't think we need to worry about the young Mute Swan that flew in from Regent's Park. It was in its usual place by the Dell restaurant stamping around aggressively, and the other swans were leaving it alone. But all these swans have to stay at the eastern end of the lake to avoid the killer swan, who is now spending most of this time near his old nest site east of the Lido.

The single swan in the Italian Garden is also safe as long as it stays there. If it wants to come down to the Long Water and fly out, it will have to do this when the killer is on the far side of the bridge.

The Wood Pigeon eating flowers in the berberis bush in the Rose Garden that I filmed yesterday must have told its friends about it, as today there were six of them.

A Robin sang in the Rose Garden, still slightly rain-spattered.

Another near the Italian Garden was ticking irritably at a Jay and a Magpie in nearby trees ...

... which both followed me all the way to the Round Pond demanding peanuts ...

... along with four Great Tits that also wanted feeding.

The Little Owl, who had been huddled at the bottom of her hole during the morning rain, came out to the edge. You have to photograph her from an angle at this time of day, as if you stand square on to the hole the low sun is shining directly into the camera.

Snowdrops have come out in the scrubby ground at the east end of the Serpentine.


  1. I wouldn’t imagine the Moorhen having the ability to jump that high to the post! Even with a few flaps of its wings to give it momentum. Do Wood Pigeons have a communication call? I’ve never heard or seen them do this. I would relish them flowers in secret at this time of year!

  2. I too would like to know which is the secret signal pigeons give one another. I can't shake the image now of a fat pigeon doing the bee dance while the rest of the pigeons scratch their heads thinking the fellow must have gone of its rocker.

    I ought to be glad that the young swan is able to fend for itself, but darn if being a swan isn't real hard work.

    1. I suspect that the really the other Wood Pigeons saw the first one enjoying the blossom and crowded in. I can't remember seeing Wood Pigeons eating berberis here before, but maybe other readers have. I hope they leave enough for the Buff-Tailed Bumblebees, which also depend on it in December. Fortunately there are several berberis bushes and they flower at slightly different times. This one is the first.

      Being any wild creature is being at war. Peace is a human illusion.

  3. The Peregrines were at Cromwell Road for a large portion of the afternoon, flying around in the wind. From around 15:20- 16:00, I was there observing them but they were certainly there before and after me.

    1. Thanks. No sign of Peregrines on the barracks all the time I was in the park.