Wednesday, 6 September 2017

A pair of Peregrines perched on the tower of the Household Cavalry barracks.

We don't know where they came from. It might just be the pair from the Metropole Hilton hotel in Edgware road who felt like a day in the park. But it would be wonderful if we got a pair of our own (though the Feral Pigeons might disagree).

A Great Crested Grebe feeding three chicks avoided the pushiest one, which had just been fed, and gave the fish to another one.

The Black Swan was asserting himself, chasing away two Mute Swans.

A young Herring Gull found a stick poking out of the water near the island, and tried to uproot it.

A Black-Headed Gull had found a large piece of food and was having difficulty swallowing it. Indeed we feared that it might choke.

But it went into the lake, and a drink of water got the food down.

A Starling at the Lido restaurant chattered with another one on the next chair.

The Carrion Crow is not shown on the notice depicting the birds of Hyde Park. This one decided to make its presence felt.

A young Moorhen climbed on to a clump of purple loosestrife in the Italian Garden.

A family from Kerala in southern India were surprised to find their native Rose-Ringed Parakeets in Kensington Gardens.

There are still some Common Darter dragonflies. This one was on the edge of one of the Italian garden ponds.

A brown and white rat appeared in the shrubbery near the Serpentine bridge.

Agony in the garden.


  1. Like the Peregrine photo. There's certainly no shortage of food for them in the park. I gather they're quite partial to parakeets too!

  2. The talking Starling clip is hilarious. I have spent a couple of very entertaining minutes trying to guess what it was saying and supplying the other side of the conversation. And such a handsome bird, too.

    I've read somewhere that Starlings mimicking human voices account for a disconcertingly high percentage of psychophonies. Barn owls make up for the remaining percentage.

    Good Side Plank Pose on the guy on the left. My wrists hurt even thinking of it. Myself, I am partial to Gull Yoga:

    1. Starlings seem to spend so much time mimicking other sounds that you can hardly say they have a call of their own. But I can't imagine how the call of a barn owl could be heard as a human voice.

      Lovely picture of the stretching gull. Will try to get a picture of one of our gulls in this pose. Geese do it too.

    2. There was a very celebrated instance of just that back in the seventies in Spain. There is a small village in central Spain (Robledo de Chavela) to which parapsychologists and occultists flocked because the church tower in the village was apparently haunted by a spirit who spent the evenings and nights lamenting, panting and shrieking. Even national TV went there to record the phenomenon. The village was terrified and no one dared to come out at night.

      It took a very famous biologist here to set the record straight. It was just a barn owl who was nesting in a cavity and was making its owly noises. Admittedly, if one is not used to hearing barn owls their noises can be blood-curdling.

    3. What a splendid story, thank you.

  3. I must say your caption "Agony in the garden" really took my breath away. Oh my. Making religious-related jokes that are genuinely funny is an art!

    1. Thank you for treading the fine line between being offended and not getting it at all.

  4. Typical parakeets moving on to dessert! Jim

    1. One thing we found was that they like red apples -- the ones in season at the moment are pappy imports -- but not Granny Smiths, which have an atypical smell and may not be recognised as apples at all.