Wednesday 2 October 2013

A flock of Pied Wagtails has been near the Round Pond for some time, but running around the edge of the water and hunting for insects in the grass.

This picture was taken on the edge of the bicycle route. The birds are not in the least bothered by people on bicycles, whom they regard as busy and therefore harmless, but they are shy of people on foot and of the movement of raising a camera. If you stand still for ten minutes they stop worrying and will come quite close if that is where the hunt leads them.

There have not been many Chaffinches in the leaf yard recently. There used to be two males that would come to my hand, but one has died and the other has apparently wandered off somewhere. The females are shyer, but this one was bold enough to come to the railings for some food, and I hope she will lose her fear in time.

It was the Blackbirds' turn to feed on the rowan trees on Buck Hill. This is the female of a family that has raised one youngster this year, and they are based in the flower bed around the children's playground. All three were in the tree when I took this picture.

The male Little Owl appeared in his usual sweet chestnut tree. He looks fiercer and more beetle-browed than the female, illustrated here yesterday, who my girlfriend rightly said had the same look as Princess Diana.

As I came down to the Long Water there was a commotion of wingbeats and eight Mute Swans laboured into the air and climbed to fly over the bridge. They had been chased off by the resident male, who will not tolerate any rivals on his lake.

Nearby, three Great Crested Grebe chicks ere giving their father a hard time as their mother went off to find yet another fish for these insatiable young birds.


  1. Please where is the little owl tree, or is it a secret? And best time to see them?

    1. You already asked that in the comments to Sunday's blog, and I answered it there. And no, it's no secret.

      It's near the leaf yard -- the square shrubbery that has the Peter Pan statue on its east side. Go to the southeast corner of the leaf yard, next to the path that skirts the lake. Here there is a very old sweet chestnut tree planted on 1690 when Kensington Gardens was set up by William III. Look southwest from here to the next sweet chestnut a few yards away, next to a fork in the path. Go beyond this tree a few yards to the west, and there is a third sweet chestnut tree, This is the tree where the Little Owls nested. They can often be seen from the west side of the tree.

    2. Apologies Ralph, I missed the earlier reply. Thanks for repeating the info, I hope they're showing well on Sat.