Tuesday 24 December 2013

Arrival at the Tawny Owls' tree coincided with a violent hailstorm. The male owl was out on the balcony, and stayed out, but after ten minutes he was a sadly soggy bird.

Soon after I took this picture he shook himself like a wet dog. I couldn't catch this because it was so dark that the camera wouldn't go faster than 1/160th second.

A visit to the rowan trees on Buck Hill brought the expected Mistle Thrushes and, gratifyingly, a Redwing.

It seemed to be alone, unusually for these gregarious thrushes. This is the first Redwing I've seen in the park this winter, though a small flock of them was reported a couple of weeks ago on the archery field between the Diana playground and Kensington Palace Gardens.

We were feeding the small birds in the leaf yard when suddenly they all froze. There must have been a raptor passing overhead which they saw -- or one of them saw and uttered a distinctive warning cry that the others understood -- but we couldn't see. This Nuthatch remained motionless for ten minutes, a most unusual sight with such a restless, darting bird.

At the Serpentine island a pair of Shovellers were shovelling side by side.

And a Red Crested Pochard drake gave me a roguish one-eyed stare.

Actually I don't think he could have looked at me with both eyes, as his enormous fluffy crest was in the way.

A very happy Christmas and a splendid New Year to all readers. As the Robin says, 'You have a good time. Or else!'


  1. Maybe it's convenient for owls sometimes to bathe this way - it must be a whole different ball game when the water's cold whatever you do. Especially at this time of year, if you would only be visiting water bodies at night. Maybe he got to drink at the same time also? Jim nth. London.