Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Day Trip

I have been planning a trip to London and Hyde Park in particular for about 6 months and possibly going up on the Mega Bus. When I looked online at the prices I was amazed how cheap it was, I got it for free going up and three pounds to come back and I thought this is too good to pass up. So I looked online and I found a fairly good blog called Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park Birds. It was a pretty good site, I found out there was four pairs of Little Owls in the park and the guy who runs the blog give a map of two of the nest sites and I thought it would be worth a go on the day. Well the day arrived and the forecast was wet at first and then it changed and gave rain later. I got to Cardiff in good time and as I sitting in the bus stop and watched the world go by there were lots of  people coming out  of the clubs and piling into their taxis and when all this was going a Blackbird and Song Thrush were in full song and a little bit later a Robin joined in. Under the streetlights were a couple of Herring Gulls cleaning up and all before 4.30 am. When the bus turned up I was glad to get on and get my head down for a couple of hours. When I woke up I was near Reading and I had my first Roe Deer of the year, there were four of them  in total and it was funny to get my first Red Kite of the year in England, it was the only one I saw. Has I got to the outskirts of London I so my first Ring Necked Parakeets of the trip there were about half dozen. As I went into London I was thinking maybe it was not such a good idea as it was all built up.  When I got out of the station and I followed my map and I found Hyde Park fairly easily. I saw a lot more Parakeets before I got into the park. In the park itself there was a fun run going on and there was people everywhere. I needed time to wake up so I sat in a rose garden for a much needed coffee and some Apple and Blackcurrant pies and they went down a treat. I could hear a Great Spotted Woodpecker calling in the distant and for a second I could have been back up Cwm Cadlan and not in the middle of London and all these people. I spotted the woodpecker and so the birding begun. Birdlife was pretty good on the serpentine which had a thin layer of ice, there were loads of Black Headed Gulls, a couple of Common Gulls and Herring Gulls and very small numbers of Lesser Black Backed Gulls. I had read one of them kills feral pigeons by drowning them and it does it on a regular basis and I was gutted not to witness it .        
I found a lot birds came to feed out of the  hand and I had  Blue Tits, Great Tits and Robins and it was great fun feeding them.
The Parakeets were brilliant and I could hear them calling everywhere, it was great to watch them looking for nest sites and feeding them by hand was a great pleasure, they were very gentle and I never got bitten once. I had about half dozen waiting to be fed, they were competing with the feral pigeons and I found the pigeons where winning. I was amazed by the amount  of people who had not seen a parakeet before and they live there.

I was checking  the gulls for rings and  I found this one and it's from Berkshire and rung in 2015 in a place called Hosehill Lake .
 There were a couple Grey Herons around the lake and I never  knew they would eat bread and I found both birds did it. The juvenile had a very badly injured leg and he could not put weight on it. It makes you think how will he manage but he seemed to be feeding ok and time will tell .

Wildfowl present were Shoveler, Pochard, Tufted Duck, Mallard, Egyptian Geese, Canada Geese, Greylag, Mute Swan, Coot, Moorhen and Great Crested Grebe.

 I also found these two  smart greylag x canada hybrids . .

I checked both Little Owl nest sites but had no luck with them. I also met two Americans and they were looking for them to but they were having  tree ID problems and were so happy for me to show them the Lime tree where the nest site was. All to soon it was time to head back to the hills, I saw 42 species for the day. I will after to go back and try for the owls another day .  .


  1. Good day out by the sound of it. Nice photos.

  2. Cheers phil and great value

  3. a birding trip to central London..... theres something you don't often hear. Sounds like a good, cheap, day out.

  4. Should have borrowed Mr.Hill's bus pass Mart and saved yourself three quid.

  5. Not a bad way to spend a day but is there an on board toilet.

  6. Yes mike Toilet on board and I was told peeeeeeeeeeeee only and as for drinks Rob will buy the tea when you get there and kit kats and toilets free in the park and yes you heard right Free

  7. Oh, I see a day out for me and Farmer Giles after a night out clubbing hmm. Not a lot bird wise over this end, with singles of siskin and redpoll the best on garden feeders. Garw nant shrikeless but interesting tree planting of exotics in process, no whitewings, no waxwings, no wipit. Hohum