Sunday, 17 July 2016

The Great Crested Grebe family on the Long Water were keeping their distance, and this is the closest picture I could get, but at least you can see the three chicks.

The aggressive male Mute Swan was chasing a harmless family of Greylag Geese in front of the Lido restaurant.

Some of the other Greylags had abandoned the area and come over to the other side of the lake, where the goslings were exploring some exciting new plants.

The Black Swan also had a brief run-in with the Mute Swan, but his technique of annoying it from a safe distance seems to be paying off, and the aggressor abandoned the struggle and left him to preen peacefully in front of the Lido restaurant.

A Grey Heron fishing under the parapet of the Italian Garden caught a perch.

In a nearby hawthorn tree, a male Blackcap was scolding a Magpie.

The Reed Warblers near the bridge were hard to see, but one of the young ones looked out of the reeds for a moment.

The male Little Owl near the leaf yard was in his usual chestnut tree.

There was a sight of one of the owlets from the family near the Albert Memorial.

But it was also open day at Brompton Cemetery, and Countrywide Falconry had brought more owls, including a Little owlet about the same age. It bit Virginia Grey.

There were also some very large owls indeed, including this young Eagle Owl, still rather fluffy ...

... and a Great Horned Owl from North America.

It's so long since we had a picture of a Tawny Owl on this blog that we must have the one at the open day.

There was also a Barn Owl, which we saw here last year ...

... and a splendid Saker Falcon.

This is the preferred hunting falcon of Arab princes.


  1. Smart swan.

    I always find tethered birds a sorry spectacle. Do they actually fly their little owls?

    1. Yes, they do -- or they will in the case of this one, which is very young. I don't like seeing captive birds either, but these have all been hand-raised from the word go, and I think they have a decent life.

    2. Yes, I'm sure they're well cared for, but there's something abut the sight of a bird flapping around upside down suspended by its ankles which distresses me (and the bird I suspect). And wouldn't owls naturally prefer to be out of the midday sun?

    3. They were under an awning. Some of them came out.

  2. I like that the mute swan picture shows him with one foot up (presumably from the heat)and still able to create the disturbance in the water as he steams after the geese. The swan looks a bit tatty on top too, so maybe he's extra irritable from being in moult? Perhaps the black swan is using that to his advantage?

    1. It seems that moulting makes swans even more irritable than they are already. It can't be comfortable regrowing those huge feathers.