Monday, 15 September 2014

On an uneventful day, at least the male Little Owl had come out to enjoy the sunshine.

He seems to have completely deserted the branch where he has been perching all year, and may now be found anywhere in the two chestnut trees.

There are many flocks of Long-Tailed Tits, carrying other tits with them, not only in the park but in the streets around. These large foraging flocks are a sign of approaching winter.

The Great Tits are looking their best at this time of year, having grown fresh plumage after their post-breeding moult. Their yellow fronts are at their brightest after a summer living on abundant insects which provide the carotenoid pigment astaxanthin which colours the feathers.

But the onset of autumn is also making them hungrier, and a crowd of them came down to my hand to be fed.

A Song Thrush was poking around in the leaf litter near the bridge, itself the colour of a dead leaf. The combination of this colour, counter-colouring (being lighter on the underside than the upper side) and spots provides wonderful camouflage, and if they stay still they are very hard to see.

This young Wood Pigeon has not yet developed its white collar, though it does have the white wing bars which make it easy to recognise this species in flight.

The Great Crested Grebe family with one chick were again fishing in the wire baskets near the bridge.

The Moorhen family with two chicks hatched in the floating plant beds at the east end of the Serpentine have emerged from shelter and were trotting along the edge of the lake, poking around in the slime to find small grubs and worms.


  1. hi ralph. after seeing your excellent goldcrest picture i really wanted to see one. and under the yew tree at the corner of the dell near rotten row i spotted one! the technique seems to be stand very still & after a while these seemingly invisible dainty birds start moving and calling again & can be seen. thanks for your tips. cheers
    Mark W2

    1. Well done. I've often heard and occasionally seen Goldcrests in that tree, but never managed to get a picture.