Wednesday, 4 February 2015

A few sunny spells had brought the Little Owl to the front of its hole in the oak tree, where several people were photographing it. It soon lost interest in this and gazed around.

Only one Little Owl has been seen so far. There was a pair here last year, and the other may well turn up.

The male Tawny Owl was out all day, guarding his mate and their nest.

The patch of leafmould under the plane trees on the opposite side of the path is regularly attracting Redwings.

It is also much visited by Blackbirds. Clearly there are plenty of insects and worms here. The gardeners are now spreading leafmould under the frail old sweet chestnut trees which were planted in 1690 when Kensington Gardens was laid out as a palace garden. These patches may also attract thrushes of various kinds.

A Dunnock was feeling quite secure among the beech leaves under the hedge at Kensington Palace, because there was a railing between it and me.

The Scaup was still on the Round Pond.

The Maned Goose seems to have gone. Probably it has been captured -- easy, as it is very tame -- and taken back to whichever park it escaped from.

There were six Jackdaws in their usual place at the northwest corner of the Round Pond. They have all worked out that if they stand on a bench, or the stake supporting a young tree, people will throw food directly under this object so they can jump down and grab it. The gulls can't swoop down on the food because the obstacle gets in the way of their long wings, and they have to land. The Jackdaw can deal with Black-Headed Gulls when they are on the ground.

This gull on the Serpentine had found a large chunk of bread and was having some difficulty in swallowing it. It managed eventually.

The young Grey Wagtail was running along the edge at the Lido again.

This pair of Great Crested Grebes from the north end of the Long Water was having a territorial dispute with the next pair down the lake. The frontier is the line of posts at Peter Pan.


  1. Nothing surpasses those orange and russet tones in the Grebe's breeding plumage.

    1. Glad you are so devoted to these splendid birds.

  2. Nice to catch up on Tuesday, found the second little owl site but when I left the park at 2.00 neither had appeared. I did get my nuthatch however at the leaf yard feeders. Hopefully will be back in April with a bit more time and daylight.

    1. That owl is a bit difficult. It has been visible about one in four times I have passed the tree.

  3. Hi Ralph great blog. I would absolutely love the opportunity see both the tawny owl and little owl. Would you be able to give any tips or directions to find them? Many thanks

    1. Tawny Owl: find the path that runs between the statue of Physical Energy and the obelisk that is a monument to the explorer Speke. Exactly half way along it is a bench, on the west side of the path. From here, walk west (slightly to the right of right angles to the path) for 50 yards, to a tall horse chestnut tree with its trunk broken off about three quarters of the way up. This is the nest tree. The male Tawny Owl likes to sit in the broken top of the trunk.

      Little Owl (the pair visible at the moment, not the pair currently invisible in the leaf yard): start on the north side of the Albert Memorial and walk north towards the statue of Physical Energy. When you get to the bicycle path, turn left (west) and walk until you come to the first intersecting path, which crosses at a very shallow angle. On the near left (southeast) corner of the intersection there is an oak tree. The nearest tree to this, also an oak, tree has the Little Owls' hole in it. You need to view the tree from the south side, that is, the side away from the path. Seen from this side, there is a thick branch sticking out slightly above horizontal about 35 feet up the trunk, with a large bulge in it and a large round hole in the bulge.