Thursday, 3 August 2017

The notorious Lesser Black-Backed Gull had killed two Feral Pigeons, one either side of the bridge, and had eaten some of each and was no longer very hungry. But he didn't want Coots getting near his prey. After a few bites he flew off, leaving the rest to a juvenile gull.

Meanwhile, a Carrion Crow ate its fill of the other pigeon.

A Wren came out beside the little pool at the top of the Dell.

A Great Tit on the feeder in the Rose Garden was undeterred by having a hulking great Rose-Ringed Parakeet on the other side.

As I was taking this picture, one of the young Robins strolled out of a flower bed and stood its ground when I pointed the camera at it. I can't resist photographing this charming bird.

Fran sent me this fine picture of a Black-Headed Gull yawning.

This is one of the Moorhen chicks from the family near the bridge, scratching its head with an enormous foot.

An adult Moorhen crossed the small waterfall in the Dell.

The Coots' nest in the middle of the Long Water has been almost demolished by heavy rain and strong wind, and its owners were busy rebuilding it -- not that it will do them any good, as they have no chance of raising chicks in this exposed spot.

The Great Crested Grebes' nest on the Long Water near the bridge can be seen when the wind blows the leaves out of the way. They are certainly sitting on eggs, but the parent off the nest is still feeding the two surviving chicks from the previous brood.

The wind excited some Mute Swans, and they rushed madly in all directions.

Four of the six young Egyptian Geese at the Round Pond were looking ruffled.

The youngest Egyptian gosling, resting beside the Serpentine, stretched out a wing and a leg. Its wing feathers are emerging in their blue wrappings.

Someone had given these Canada Geese some porridge oats. They like this, and it's probably not bad for them.

You often see mysterious ecological goings-on in the park. I think these are students from Imperial College just down the road, sampling algae.

It was too windy for a Little Owl to come out. The Black Swan has also been hard to see recently, and I think he's spending time on the island.


  1. Before I read your description, it looked to me watching the youtube clip that the adult Coot was trying to put itself in the way of the dangerous gull - to stop it from getting too near to what I assumed were younger coots. But that is perhaps far too much forward-thinking for a Coot.

    Lovely, lovely young Robin! I hope I'm not sounding too corny, but one of my most beloved books of all times is The Secret Garden,and that is because of the Robin. To me, the Robin there felt much more 'real' than the children characters.

    A few days ago I discovered a new (to me) perfectly delightful English word: borb, a mixture of bird + orb to refer to spherical or rounded-looking little birds. Borbs of honour being, of course, the Wren and the Robin.

    1. The Robin in The Secret Garden is fulfilling his traditional role as a psychopomp, a guide of souls. Usually this is associated with death, as in the examples of the Robin which perched for many days on the catafalque of Mary, queen of William III, when she was lying in state in Westminster Abbey; and in Webster's lines from The White Devil,
      Call for the robin-redbreast and the wren,
      Since o’er shady groves they hover
      And with leaves and flowers do cover
      The friendless bodies of unburied men.
      The Robin is said to have got his red breast from having sung to Jesus on the cross, and being splashed with blood.

  2. The black swan was mooching about at the south side of bridge this evening. If you will forgive the anthropomorphism, he looked a trifle melancholy. But perhaps we all feel that way at twilight in August. Kim Fletcher

    1. Thanks. Good to know that this excellent bird is still on the scene.