Wednesday 18 April 2012

People who want to see the Tawny Owls should hurry. They are on the point of vanishing into the leaves, not to be seen again till next winter. The four owlets were in a neat row, the first time I have found this year's brood so well lined up, but there were too many leaves in front of them for a good picture.

An early visitor to the park saw one of the Little Owls at 6 am, on the ground looking for worms.

It seems that the Little Grebes are nesting on the west side of the Long Water between the fallen horse chestnut tree and the Italian Garden. Their mating call -- slower and lower pitched than the normal giggle -- is often heard from here. There is little hope of seeing the nest from the other side of the water, since these birds make their nests out of floating rubbish, and it looks as if it had drifted there rather than having been deliberately assembled.

One of the terrapins on the Long Water had climbed unusually high up a branch to warm itself in the occasional sunny intervals. There are three, two European and one American, all dumped in the lake by pet owners who had got tired of them. They are not entirely welcome visitors, since they eat ducklings.

As I was returning from the owls' tree, the bold male Chaffinch plonked himself on the ground in front of me, chirping loudly for service, and would not shift until he had been given a peanut.

Coming home through Hyde Park, I saw a female Blackbird running across a path -- actually running, putting one foot in front of the other, instead of the usual rapid two-footed hop. I don't think I have seen this before.


  1. Thank you for keeping us fed, day by day, with such an interesting and varied diet. Long may it last.

  2. Thank you for the info on the owlets. I could not find them at 4pm today. Good to know that they are still there. I will try harder tomorrow.

    A very good blog. Ian Evison

    1. Thanks.
      The Tawny Owls' nest tree is at 51.507991,-0.17994
      URL for Google street view of nest tree:
      To find it without using electronic aids, go to the path that runs north-south between the Speke obelisk and the statue of Physical Energy. Exactly halfway between these landmarks there is a bench on the west side of the path. Stand on the path in front of the bench, at the right end of the bench as you face it. Look west at right angles to the path. Very slightly to the right of this line is a big horse chestnut tree with a broken top that is visible through the branches. This is the owls' nest tree. Between the path and the nest tree, slightly to the south of the bench, is a crooked line of four horse chestnut trees roughly parallel to the path. The owls and owlets are likely to be in either the nest tree or on the middle two of the line of four trees. But they are quite hard to see now, and you have to walk round and round these trees at various distances, looking carefully. Good luck!

    2. Thank you for taking the trouble to give directions. I was looking in the right place, but just was not able to see them through the leaves. I did not venture out today, but will take another look when it stops raining. Regards, Ian