Posts Tagged ‘St James Park’

Keith and I finished the day at St James Park, hoping to possibly see Kingfisher and Grey Wagtail. The park is also home to a collection of exotic wildfowl from around the world. This dates back to when the park was actually the gardens of the Royal Palace at Whitehall. Further details about the history of this collection can be found at https://petesfavouritethings.wordpress.com/2013/07/03/the-royal-pelicans/

The Pelicans seem pinker than I have seen them before.
Cormorants roosting in tree
Grey Heron

As well as seeing the collection birds, we also recorded a number of wild species, but no kingfisher or Grey Wagtail.

Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Rock Dove (Feral) (Columba livia ‘feral’)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Rose-ringed Parakeet [sp] (Psittacula krameri)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)

Birds of St James Park

Posted: November 7, 2016 in Birds, London, Natural History, UK
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A Saturday morning and Keith and I are on the way to a Rugby match at Wembley, but time first for a walk through St James’ Park first. St James Park was once part of the Whitehall Palace and the home to the royal waterfowl collection.

Greylag Geese

Greylag Geese

Egyptian Geese

Egyptian Geese

Ruddy Shellduck (part of Bird Collection)

Ruddy Shellduck (part of Bird Collection)

 

Common Pochard

Common Pochard

 

Eurasian Wigeon

Eurasian Wigeon

 

Mute Swan

Mute Swan

 

Pelicans (part of bird collection)

Pelicans (part of bird collection)

More details about the story of the Pelicans and the Royal Waterfowl collection can be found at https://petesfavouritethings.wordpress.com/2013/07/03/the-royal-pelicans/

Buckingham Palace (from St James Park)

Buckingham Palace (from St James Park)

Many people have heard about the Royal Swans, which can be found on the upper reaches of the river Thames, but I wonder how many people know about the Royal Pelicans.

The pelicans can be found on the lake in St James’s Park in central London, which lies between the old Palace of Whitehall and the current Buckingham Palace.

St James park lake looking towards Buckingham Palace

St James park lake looking towards Buckingham Palace

The story of the pelicans date back to the mid-17th century. Charles II had recently landscaped St James’s Park to include a canal like body of water. One of his main reasons for doing this was to have a ready source of duck meat for the nearby Palace of Whitehall. There was even a house built for the Royal keeper of wildfowl beside the water, the most recent of which can still be seen today.

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In 1664 the visiting Russian ambassador presented Charles with two pelicans, which the King added to his collection of wildfowl in the Park. This tradition has continued through the centuries to the current day. The most recent addition was a gift of three great white pelicans by the city of Prague in March of this year. This brought the current total of pelicans present on the lake to 6.

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The canal built by Charles II was later remodeled to the classical lake that we see today.