Although the main aim of the trip to Hyde Park was to see at least one of the little owls that I read about on http://kensingtongardensandhydeparkbirds.blogspot.co.uk/ blog, the owls were nowhere to be found and I tried out my newly-acquired camera on more obliging common garden birds, which in the park are very tame, and insects.
This female chaffinch with a diseased right foot was hanging out by the feeder near the park entrance closest to the Hyde Park corner tube station.
A male chaffinch and a street pigeon that really wanted to be in the frame too were checking the ground below for nibbles dropped from the hanging feeders.
This long-tailed tit watched on as great tits feasted on peanuts. Not much farther another feeder, with fat balls, was swarmed by several long-tailed tits.
My highlight of the day was the pair of woodpigeons engaged in passionate beaking. They were also grooming one another, gently nibbling and scratching (with the bill) the neck of their mate. The beaking went on for five minutes, but then the mood must have left them.
Robins were everywhere, sometimes even three seemingly sharing the same small patch, eyeing one another but not trying to fight. Maybe they don’t mind their territories being extremely small, as there is plenty of food to go around? This one hopped over to me and stood by my shoe expectantly. Alas, I had no food to offer.
It was a cold and windy day, but buff-tailed bumblebees were out in small numbers. This one managed to collect big bundles of pollen and had a gorse shrub all to herself.
A fenced-off grassy patch was the hunting ground for a song thrush, pictured below with head tilted, listening for worms.A blackbird came a little later and had much more success finding earthworms, pulling up one after another in close succession, despite following the exact same strategy as the song thrush – a few hops and a pause to listen.
Young gulls are still very confusing to me, but I think it’s a lesser black-backed gull hatched last year. It found a convenient post very close to the bank, where it could watch for people giving out food to mute swans.
A cluster of wildflowers around a tree attracted several rather lovely-looking dung flies and a Eupeodes luniger hoverfly.The dung flies need dung in their larval stage. Luckily for them, the park is used for horseriding and dung is not difficult to come by.