Sunday, 2 March 2014

The male Tawny Owl, who had stayed in his tree all day for several days, made a most welcome appearance. When I passed by on my way home at 3.45 he had evidently just come out, as he was wide awake and looking restlessly around.

Not long before, there had been a squirrel right on his balcony, enough to unsettle the calmest owl.

The family of four Egyptian Geese with four young on the Serpentine, which had also been out of sight yesterday, were also back, at the Bluebird Boats platform.

The parents were in close attendance, the mother honking loudly and continuously to deter the large gulls.

And there was a mob of these, perhaps 50 first-winter Herring Gulls in the middle of the lake, squabbling as usual.

As far as I could see they were all Herring Gulls: note the paler inner primaries with off-white tips. On Lesser Black-Backed Gulls these are the same grey as the outer primaries.

A pair of Greylag Geese were courting with the same head-dipping ritual as Mallards. But with these bigger birds it was a much splashier business.

There are still about 25 Redwings on the Parade Ground, flying around nervously as Sunday visitors go by on the paths. As the weather got darker and nastier and people went home, they calmed down and resumed their hunt for worms and bugs.

There are now three pairs of Great Crested Grebes on the Long Water, and two pairs on the Serpentine. This female was poking around in the reeds near the Italian Garden with her mate, though they were only looking for food and didn't seem interested in it as a nest site.

Most London grebes don't seem to regard reeds as a good place to nest, unlike those in the east of the country. I have seen only one pair here make a nest actually in the reeds, and from reeds.


  1. Hello!
    You have taken some AMAZING photos of birds on your blog. My husband and I love birds, but it is most difficult to take good shots of them, they move so quickly!
    I quite enjoyed your comment about the three fishes on the heraldic shield, the De Lucy Family. I knew nothing about, it, just the little bit that I found on the internet!
    Keep up the good work with the birds.

  2. Thanks for your kind words. It's impossible to be quick enough when photographing birds. You have to set your camera to full automatic for everything and keep it switched on the whole time when there's a chance of a shot. And even then you miss a lot. The good thing about digital cameras is that no one sees your hundreds of daily failures.

    For other readers, the blog mentioning the De Lucy family is Caroline's Miscellany, which is full of interesting information about London and elsewhere.