Monday, 22 July 2013

The Hobby family are now often to be seen and heard in Kensington Gardens and have taken to perching in tall trees between the Queen's Temple and the Vista. There were three of them here this morning, presumably the parents and one young bird. However, they have proved impossible to see in these high places, hidden by foliage. You hear them calling, or see one fly overhead and landing in a tree, and you know where they are to within a few feet, but they are still invisible.

The female Little Owl was seen in the next sweet chestnut tree to the west of the one where she nested. But she only stayed out for a few moments, and although I paid several visits to the tree she didn't come out again. So it was a day of missed picture opportunities.

However, there were other birds to see. This Grey Heron stood on the fence around one of the reed beds, nonchalantly displaying its ability to keep its balance. Then it wobbled, and flapped desperately to stay on ...

... and eventually fell into the reeds with an angry squawk.

One of the blonde Egyptian Geese was preening her elegant ash-coloured wings, several shades lighter than the dark brownish grey of normal coloured birds.

The young blonde Egyptian hatched this year seems to have even lighter coloured wings, but they may darken with time.

A young Long-Tailed Tit was scratching its ear in the Flower Walk.

There was also a large band of Blue Tits flying down the Flower Walk together. At most times these birds are fairly evenly distributed in the shrubberies, mingling with the other species of tit and other small birds. But at times they go off together in a flock, like Long-Tailed Tits.

All the male ducks are in eclipse, losing all their gaudy splendour. Here is a male Mallard looking as brown as a female.

But the female ducks are looking as good as ever, because the new feathers that are growing in are the same colour as the old ones that are falling out.


  1. hi ralph
    have learned so much from your post today.
    don't envy you pounding the beat in this horrendous heat with the tourists at their most. long for the park to cool down & back to being 'my garden'. thanks for your report.
    Mark W2

    1. Thanks. But I wish I'd got some better pix.

  2. sometimes the wildlife just don't know when to perform! sheeesh!
    Mark W@