Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Another hot day, and this Feral Pigeon had taken the opportunity to sunbathe.

One of the Peregrines from the Hilton Metropole Hotel flew over to give a bit of class to what was otherwide a very ordinary day's collection of birds.

There was a sad incident on the Vista when a dog found a female Mallard on the ground and chased and injured it. The duck escaped on to the lake and disappeared, and we were left with one very young duckling and didn't know what to do with it. On the open water at the Vista, with no ducks in sight, it would soon have been eaten by a Lesser Black-Backed Gull which was circling overhead. So we took it to Peter Pan, which is a bit more sheltered, and released it. It tried to join some other ducklings, but their mother wouldn't accept it and chased it away. Probably we couldn't have saved the poor little creature whatever we did.

A female Mallard on the Long Water still has 7 ducklings, though how she manages to keep them is a mystery as she was out in the middle of the lake eating algae as if there was no such thing as a big gull. A floating pigeon carcase at the east end of the lake, eaten to the bone except for the wings, showed that on of the Lesser Black-Backs had been after larger prey.

There are more Black-Headed Gulls, now on the Serpentine as well as the Long Water.

One of the young Pied Wagtails is constantly in the Lido area, running along the shore or perching on the posts holding up the netting around the reed bed. It is an elegant bird in its quiet grey plumage that makes it almost invisible when it is running around the concrete and mud at the shoreline.

This dragonfly is a female Black-Tailed Skimmer, Orthetrum cancellatum. I published a picture of a male of the species here on Friday 5 July: the males are blue and the females yellow. It was perched on a spear-shaped spike of the iron railings on the path beside the Long Water.


  1. Hi Ralph,

    I believe that it is a Hobby rather than a Peregrine.
    Unfortunate news about that duckling. I doubt it will survive long as you say with all these gulls around.

    1. Well, I thought it was a Hobby when I first saw it, but I could see no trace of the usual red patch on its underside. It was impossible to gauge the size against empty sky.