Birding in Hyde Park

Posted Jul 11th, 2009 at 8:14 am in Birding, Traveling About

I wanted to share a little more about the birding we’ve been able to do thus far. We went to Hyde Park the other day, as seen in these pictures which I mentioned previously.

I didn’t bring the big lens for bird photography. It’s too darn heavy for a whole day’s trip, and it’s best to photograph birds in small doses if Amy’s with me, as being a spectator quickly gets boring.

There were a few birds however that were extremely cooperative, such as this immature Great Crested Grebe that came up close enough to get a picture even without the big lens.

Great Crested Grebe

Pigeon, It’s Whats for Dinner

Rock Pigeons

We did witness one of the most spectacular events of predation I have ever seen. A Yellow-legged Gull (our life bird) was standing amongst a group of Rock Pigeons that were being fed by tourists. The gull had a small wad of feathers in its bill, which struck me as odd. I asked Amy, “Is that gull hunting pigeons?” Seconds later the gull grabbed a Rock Pigeon in it’s bill, getting a hold of it by the top of the wing near the pigeon’s body, and flew out to the lake where he proceeded to drown the pigeon and ultimately eat it. The struggle took a good five to minutes before the pigeon finally succumbed. It was utterly amazing if a little hard to watch.

Habitat is Key

As any birder can tell you, habitat is the key to finding a diversity of different species, and as one might expect, London itself doesn’t have many open spaces. Hyde Park is great though. Even if a little manicured in places, it has lots of big trees and vegetation along Serpentine Lake that sits in the heart of the park.

Trees like this really gave one the feeling of being in England, sneaking around on the King’s land despite the penalty of death. Of course England has changed in the last 600 years, so such fears were entirely imagined.

Forest at Hyde Park, London

Our Bird List So Far

For those interested in a partial list of what we’ve seen (mainly the birds that were new or unique to Europe), I’ve included the following. Wikipedia provides a great resource for further information and pictures.

Next weekend, we’re going on a three day birding extravaganza with a couple of English birders that I met a few years ago in Ecuador of all places. In addition to showing us as many birds as possible in three days, we’re going to fit in a trip to Stonehenge and Corfe Castle (a 12th century ruin).

Fun times.

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4 Responses to “Birding in Hyde Park”

  1. ?!?! European Robin “is a small thrush” – get a full night’s sleep, Jay, your jet lag is showing! Pick flycatcher or warbler or something =)

  2. m york observes:

    Nice, Jay and Amy! Keep the birdlist updated for us, as much as you find time to.

  3. You try birding in a place where robins are flycatchers, blackbirds are robins, and chickadees are tits, and all at a time when day should be night and night should be day. :) Besides, European Robin used to be considered a thrush. But other than our slightly outdated taxonomy, we’ve had no major foibles thus far.

  4. I have ;-) It was wayyy too much fun! Granted, the first full day I slept (in the name of jet lag) and the rest of the time was overrun with relatives… but I didn’t have to pack my brain with academic things, so I guess you have an excuse =)

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