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Why the Birds of St. James Park are Worth Visiting on a London Trip

Discover the Queen's birds in St. James Park. Find out why the birds of St. James Park are the perfect excuse to take a morning walk in London.
Taking a walk before work is the perfect way to explore a city when on a business trip.  I look at it as a way to maintain work-life balance even when I'm on the road.  

It's like taking a mini-vacation when I get up an hour early and walk somewhere I've never explored before.  On one of my business trips to London, I did a loop around the lake in St. James Park near Buckingham Palace.  

About St. James Park

St James's Park was the first The Royal Parks to open its gates to the public. The park is conveniently located near Buckingham Palace) near Victoria Station in Westminster. The park greets many millions of visitors annually. I was delighted to discover that St. James Park is home to a wide variety of birds.

Birdwatching in St. James Park

I noticed various birds on the water and along the shore.  There was soon a mad rush of birds surrounding me.  At first I wasn't sure why but then I saw this - an older man and his son throwing some bread crumbs to the birds.  He looked so happy doing this, it simply made me smile. 
London - Feeding the Birds
Of course, I took advantage of the opportunity to photograph some of the residents of St. James Park including a black swan, wigeon, pintail, goldeneye, shelduck, bar-headed goose, barnacle goose, and red-breasted goose.  

Some of these birds are not native to this area but are part of the Royal 'Collection'.  They were gifted to the Royal Family and now live happily on the lake in the park in their backyard.
London - Birds of Hyde Park
Aside from the birds, St. James Park also offers gorgeous wildflowers in summer.
London - Hyde Park Flowers
I caught a glimpse of the Royal Horse Guard in the distance across the lake.
London - Hyde Park Lake

The Pelicans of St. James Park

I was lucky enough to visit London for work twice in one month.  I enjoyed my pre-work walk through St. James Park so much that I decided to do it again.  

This time, I got to meet the famous Eastern White Pelicans unexpectedly up close.  Did you know that there have been pelicans living in this London park since the mid-17th century? The pelicans were first introduced to the park as a gift from the Russian Ambassador in 1664!

Normally the pelicans sit on a little island in the middle of the lake in St. James Park.  This time, I found them on the sidewalk.  

You could call this post a Sidewalk Safari in the most literal sense of the word!  Two pelicans had staked out a place not far from a sign that reads: Please do not feed or touch the pelicans.  
St. James Park Pelicans
St. James Park Pelicans
St. James Park Pelicans
This feathery pair was simply hanging out getting some sun in the early morning hours.
St. James Park Pelicans in London
I've purposely left the guy with the backpack in this photo so you can see just how huge these pelicans are!
St. James Park Pelicans in London
This fellow was trying to go incognito by hanging out with the swans on the grass (that's Buckingham Palace in the background).  
Pictures of St. James Park Pelicans
Once again, it paid off to get up early so I could take a morning stroll before work.  I was positively delighted to meet these local residents!

SIDEWALK SAFARI SPOTLIGHT: Planning to spend more time in London? Why not plan a workcation and discover places to visit around Tower Bridge, around Covent Garden, and things to do near South Kensington.  Did you know that South Kensington is a 45 minute walk or just 15 minutes on the Tube from St. James Park? You could also go further afield and spend a week in South West London.

Is St. James Park Worth Visiting on a Trip to London?

Overall, St. James Park was a quiet oasis just minutes from the hustle and bustle of nearby Victoria in London.  I highly recommend a visit to St. James Park for a spot of birdwatching if you are looking for a 'mini-vacation' before work if you're on a business trip.

Looking for even more birdwatching opportunities in London? The WWT London Wetland Centre is just outside of Hammersmith.
London - Hyde Park Landscape
London - Hyde Park Lake Landscape

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St. James Park Pelicans in London EnglandSt. James Park Pelicans in London England
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Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog: Why the Birds of St. James Park are Worth Visiting on a London Trip
Why the Birds of St. James Park are Worth Visiting on a London Trip
Discover the Queen's birds in St. James Park. Find out why the birds of St. James Park are the perfect excuse to take a morning walk in London.
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Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog
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