Saturday, 9 September 2017

There was a pair of Goldcrests in the trees near the Henry Moore sculpture, where I saw one yesterday.

Just along the path, a Robin comes out to be fed every time I pass.

A Blue Tit with the same idea emerged from a yew tree.

Mistle Thrushes only stay in the rowan trees on Buck Hill for short raids on the fruit. Blackbirds sometimes stay to preen, but there is also a pair of Magpies who regard one tree as their home.

The Blackbirds spend most of their time in a nearby hawthorn, whose spiky twigs give good cover. They have eaten most of the berries.

Some Feral Pigeons at the Dell restaurant had found a leftover meal including two bowls of tomato salsa, and were enthusiastically covering everything including themselves with it.

They don't care how much chilli there is in it, because birds can't taste the hotness of chilli. This is a neat bit of evolution: the plant needs birds to eat its fruit, coloured an attractive red, so that the seeds will pass through their quick digestive systems and come out undamaged to start new plants. Mammals would digest the seeds more thoroughly and kill them, but they are repelled by the hot taste of the chilli. Also, most mammals can't see red, since they only have colour receptors for yellow and purple.

The Little Owl at the leaf yard looked down through the leaves of her chestnut tree.

The number of Cormorants is building up, and there were at least ten on the lake. Here are eight of them on the posts at Peter Pan.

There were also ten Grey Herons.

This one was perched on a horse chestnut tree near the bridge whose leaves are badly damaged by leaf miner moth. All the horse chestnuts are affected to some extent, and are looking prematurely autumnal.

The new Great Crested Grebe family on the Long Water were playing around the willow near the bridge.

The Black Swan, often chased away when he approaches the Mute Swan cygnets near the bridge, tried his luck with a different set at the other end of the lake, but the result was the same.

Here is the youngest Egyptian Goose on the Serpentine, now a handsome teenager still not quite adult size.

At first sight I thought this speckled Canada Goose was a hybrid, but it has a clearly marked Canada white bar on its head, and black feet. So it is a pure Canada that is slightly leucistic.

Although dabbling ducks such as Mallards can take off straight out of the water, diving ducks such as this Pochard have to take a little run to get airborne.


  1. Pigeons are messy birds, no two opinions about that. I see that their tendency to be living projectile-launchers extend to semi-liquid food as well as to less savoury things.

    How much cuter could the Goldcrest be?!

    Poor Black Swan. You can almost feel how lonely he is.

    1. I was showing a Colombian biologist around the park, and he was enchanted by the Goldcrest. Glad to say that the Little Owl turned out for him too.

  2. Yes, great photo of the Goldcrest. Given they are normally hyperactive you did well to get that shot!

  3. Hi, i am Santiago, the Colombian Biologist, Thank you for showing me the birds of the park, and have the good fortune to see the little owl. I hope to return to the park again.

    1. It was splendid to meet you, and a pleasure to show you round the sights.