Saturday, 15 August 2015

About a hundred Starlings were in the holly tree between Peter Pan and the Italian Garden, chattering noisily and occasionally coming down to eat blackberries.

Suddenly they all rushed out at once, and a moment later there was a glimpse of a raptor flying past the back of the tree. It went up into a poplar, and there it was, a Sparrowhawk looking hungrily down at the now empty tree.

A squirrel was unmoved by the drama and went on eating blackberries.

The first Common Gulls have arrived. This one was on the Long Water at Peter Pan, and there was another at the Serpentine island.

There is a new Great Crested Grebes' nest on the Long Water, on the tip of a poplar tree that fell into the lake several years ago. This looks like an impossible place, but nests on this tree were successful in 2011 and 2012.

A teenage Great Crested Grebe has just appeared on the Serpentine. If it had been hatched here someone would certainly have seen it before. It is about three months old and evidently already able to fly. Perhaps it has come in from St James's Park, where there are earlier broods than on the lake here.

The Moorhen chick in the Sunken Garden was with one of the parents on the floating basket where it was hatched.

A Little owlet could be seen in the nest tree. It was very restless and kept flying around. The other owlet is much calmer and just sits there staring at you, as if they had taken on the temperaments of their mother and father respectively.

This is a view down the hollow trunk of the Tawny Owls' nest tree, now lying flat on the ground after the collapse. It is absolutely straight inside, with no diversions or ledges, and it's very hard to see where they coukld have nested. The top, towards the camera, is where the male owl used to sit guarding the nest.

I've asked Tony Duckett to try to get an owl nestbox put up nearby. They may not use it, but it's worth a try.


  1. I've never seen a teenage Grebe/Grebelet of that age. How beautiful they are. We saw a Grebe nest in the middle of the Thames at Henley Lock - almost invisible from the bank, as it was built in the middle of a swathe of water weeds. What the nest was resting on, I can't imagine!

    1. My favourite picture of young grebes is on the blog post for 23 November 2013.

    2. Oh yes, there were many lovely grebelet photos in your blog around that time - must go back and rummage around!

  2. Great photos. Any chance I could use the pic of the pic of the starling eating the blackberries?

    1. Thanks. Yes, by all means use the picture, but please give me a credit. If you want the original, please put your email address in the comments on today's post. I will note it and delete the comment at once so that you don't get your address trawled.