Wednesday 13 November 2013

Several photographers had taken advantage of the sunny day to visit the owls, and I met Gideon Knight, who runs the excellent Early Worm blog, and Andy Sunters. Andy had seen a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker at the Tawny Owls' tree, but just as he was about to press the shutter to capture this rather rare bird, a dog ran into his tripod. We all expressed our sympathy.

The Tawny Owls, dozing on their usual branch, were being annoyed by several Magpies. One of them had the temerity to walk up the branch towards the male owl. Through the leaves I saw a flurry of movement as the owl lunged at it, and all the Magpies left in a hurry. Here is the owl, now wide awake and still angry.

And here is his mate, on the opposite side of the same branch.

You can just see a few feathers of the male in the bottom left corner of this picture.

The male Little Owl was also in his usual place in the chestnut tree, and gave me a roguish wink and a slight wave of his wing.

It is impossible not to read human expressions into the faces of these charming birds.

On the fence near the Diana fountain, the local Robin was loudly defending its territory, which includes the reed bed and all the flower beds as far as the Lido restaurant.

This Great Tit in the leaf yard was staring at me for another reason. He wanted me to put down the camera and give him some food, which of course I did after taking this picture.

The Coal Tit also turned up, and came down to my hand three times for pine nuts, which Coal Tits find irresistible. It is very pleasing that this tiny bird has become so confident.

One of the young Great Crested Grebes at the bridge was still begging for food, vaguely waving one foot in the air. Its parent took no notice, and went on preening.


  1. What a wonderful picture of the feisty robin! Your posts, with their delightful content, never fail to make my day.

  2. Poor Andy. He has my sympathy as well. But I have to admit that I was very amused by the way in which you recounted the incident - with respect our usual opinions of the contribution made by (badly trained) dogs to the wildlfe in the Parks.

  3. I never bore of your owl stories but particularly enjoyed the commentary today!

  4. Thank you both for your kind words.

  5. It was a great day, thanks for finding the Owls Ralph :)