Friday, 26 December 2014

A pair of Mute Swans at the east end of the lake were getting off to an early start examining a possible nest site at the east end of the lake. Here they are displaying at each other after chasing a third swan off it.

There was a successful nest here last spring which produced two cygnets. These may be the same parents making sure they don't lose their site. Few good places are available.

The pair of pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gulls, which have been seen eating fish several times recently, have gone back to their original diet of pigeon. There are hundreds of these all jammed together on the pavement around the funfair, and catching them should be fairly easy. Here the pair are watched by a hungry young Herring Gull, which they shooed away from time to time.

A pair of Moorhens were searching for humbler food among the leaves on the edge of the Serpentine.

And a Pied Wagtail was looking for insects in the joints in the granite kerb bordering the lake. This is an adult female, with a grey back (males have a black back) and black bib (juveniles have a plain front).

A Tufted Duck was cruising along half submerged in the shallow water at Peter Pan, looking for small creatures on the bottom.

Tufted Ducks are very buoyant and have to paddle hard to stay completely submerged, so this feeding method saves effort.

A Great Tit was bathing in the shallow pool in front of the Roma relief.

The male Tawny Owl was in his usual place on the nest tree, mildly annoyed by a squawking Jay but that was no reason to leave his post.

Underneath, a pair of Egyptian Geese were parading side by side, in step.

In this species the male is slightly larger than the female, so he is the one on the right side of the picture.


  1. Your recent observations of the Lesser Black Backed's hunting have been intriguing and impressive. What time approximately do you observe them? I've been passing at my normal time and they are either not to be seen or not making much effort or being spectacularly unsuccessful. The fish shots were a particular surprise. In your experience do you see them diving into the water much?

    1. From other observers' reports, the best time to see these gulls doing their thing is about 3 pm. But today they had already got their pigeon by 1.30. I suppose the real rule is go often and keep looking.