Monday 12 February 2024

Mugged by crows

A Jackdaw which had taken a peanut from me near the Queen's Temple was mugged by a couple of Carrion Crows. I'm glad to say that it got away unscathed, waited till the crows had gone away, and came back for another peanut.

In Richmond Park the Jackdaws vastly outnumber and dominate the crows. As our Jackdaw population multiplies fast, I wonder whether they'll ever reach that stage.

After the visiting Redwings have been here for a couple of weeks they are less alarmed by people passing by outside the fence, and start to spread out over the wide, worm-rich area of the Parade Ground. Eventually if you're lucky they come quite near the fence and you can get close-up shots, but that hasn't happened yet. This one tried and failed to pull a worm from its hole -- these little thrushes don't always win the tug-of-war.

A pair of Long-Tailed Tits were bouncing around in a tree near Mount Gate. One of them was carrying a bit of moss. They are nesting already.

The Coal Tit here will take pine nuts thrown up in the air, though it's not as good at catching them as the familiar Chaffinch.

The Robin at the southwest corner of the bridge has got to the stage of coming down for pine nuts thrown on the ground.

A Wren near Peter Pan was perfectly camouflaged in the fallen leaves.

The place where a drunken driver knocked the parapet of the bridge on to the path is fenced off pending repairs. It makes a peaceful place for a Grey Wagtail to hunt insects without being disturbed by people.

Both Peregrines were on the tower, but the male had his back turned -- he usually perches that way round -- and didn't make a good picture, so here is his mate on her own.

No visible progress with the Grey Herons. One was guarding the nest as usual ...

... while the other waited in a nearby tree. It flew off to do a bit of fishing, but I didn't see where it went.

A Coot shared a loaf of bread with some Feral Pigeons. Aggressive as Coots are, they know that you just can't keep pigeons away.

The Black Swan on the Round Pond has got the urge to build a nest for his white girlfriend, and was making a heap of debris on the gravel bank, calling melodiously as he did so. But I'm sure this will never come to anything.

Two of the five Mute Swan teenagers preened beside the Lido restaurant terrace. Their mother is beginning to lose patience with them following her around and has started pecking them away. They will be thrown out soon, a rude shock for these pampered young creatures.

The male Egyptian Goose of the Italian Garden pair was on his own for the fourth day running. His mate is definitely nesting in a tree hole somewhere.

The male at the Henry Moore sculpture is still waiting for his mate to bring the goslings out.

The two goslings at the Round Pond have survived another night. Thanks to Ahmet Amerikali for this picture.


  1. Who knows. Hope springs sternal: one of these days the Black Swan will successfully find a mate.
    Poor redwing, all that pulling for nothing. They're so beautiful, the prospect of getting them to be nearer and nearer would motivate anyone to keep trying.

    1. A pair of Black Swans in St James's Park have bred, a couple of years ago. Their cygnets were all killed by Mute Swans, sad to say. The lake in that park is quite small and crowded, with nowhere to escape for cygnets too young to fly.

      The Redwings are getting enough worms to keep them happy. An occasional failure can be tolerated.

    2. It’s a doggy dog world in the corvid realm. I once witnessed at my local park, two Carrion Crows ganging up on an injured single and isolated Carrion Crow, that had a floppy leg and damaged wing. They both knew of an easy target and meal, so they viciously pecked at it until it was drained of energy and cannibalism was made. I thought at first it was two males over aggressively trying to mate with a female, but after watching for some time, it was clear what they were doing (the relentless violence was unending.) it was deep in woods and quite eerie like.

      How wonderfully cute and kind of the outcasted Black Swan. You do have to feel for it and hope that it can mate with his girlfriend and he can spread his seed!