Tuesday, 7 October 2014

The male pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull was stalking around his usual place on the edge of the Serpentine next to the Dell restaurant, where people feeding the geese and swans drop food and Feral Pigeons flock to pick it up. The gull made a sudden rush, on foot, into a crowd of pigeons, seized one by the neck, and flew with it into the lake to drown it.

The pigeon struggled desperately, and almost got away.

But in the end it was overwhelmed and drowned, and the pair closed in to devour it.

So far when I have seen this pair in action it is always the male who does the hunting. He is a very big bird, much larger than his mate. As you can see from the first picture, she just looked on like Lady Macbeth.

The Mandarins on the Serpentine were also very active. The two in the foreground are a pair, and the other male had got too close to the female for her mate's liking. So he pushed past her ...

... and chased the other one away.

This happened several times, and eventually the interloper learned to keep his distance.

The young Grey Wagtail was in his current favourite place between the Lido restaurant and the Lido swimming area. Here it opens its wings to fly upon to the railings.

There were two Moorhens in one of the small boathouses searching for insects in the deserted Coots' nest. These nests remain full of parasites even when abandoned, as we saw recently with the one at Peter Pan which was completely demolished by birds trying to get the bugs out.

In contrast to all this activity, the Great Crested Grebes were lazing about. This is one of the young ones on the Long Water offshore from Peter Pan.

I didn't see an owl today, but the male Tawny Owl and female Little Owl both emerged after I had gone home.


  1. Great action shots of the gulls and the pigeon

    1. Thanks. The previous two times I took pictures of this creature in action, the pigeon got away and I was relieved that the story had a happy ending. But the number of stripped pigeon carcases around the lake suggests that the gull is pretty efficient.

  2. Great captures of some very fast action!!! Great to see you again in the park too and thank you for the action packed tour.