Sunday 12 October 2014

Most of the large colony of Egyptian Geese at the Round Pond had moved down to the Serpentine, perhaps disturbed by the half marathon this morning. They were being their usual noisy selves all over the Lido and the Diana fountain. Here are a couple displaying.

The family on the Round Pond had remained, of course, and they still have their eight young.

The Little Grebe is still there too. Here it passes a Mute Swan, which shows how very small Little Grebes are -- they weigh just 5 oz or 150 g. Luckily the swan was looking the other way, or it might have pecked at it.

A Cormorant was fishing inside the submerged semicircular stone wall under the marble fountain of the Italian Garden. This confined space holds large quantities of fish, which like the shelter of the wall and the iron gratings overhead. But that doesn't save them when the grating is broken and a Cormorant can dive in.

Both Little Owls were visible, one in each of the two chestnut trees they use. This is the male owl.

He was moving around restlessly because there were two Carrion Crows and some Jays in his tree, though they didn't actually molest him while I was there. The female was taking no chances in her tree, and was almost invisible among the leaves.

One of the Tawny Owls was also poorly visible in the beech tree next to their nest tree, so I don't know which of the pair it was, probably the male. In fact I missed it when I went past the tree first time, but luckily met Wendy, who writes the excellent blog Wino Wendy's Wildlife World, and she pointed out the place to me.

Speaking of owls, the big wooden owl which for many years was an ineffective pigeon scarer on the loggia in the Italian Garden now seems to have become the figurehead of the electric boat on the Serpentine. It is meant to be an Eagle Owl, I think, but is badly discoloured by decades of London soot and needs cleaning and repainting.

Just one autumn migrant: a Meadow Pipit passed over Kensington Gardens.


  1. It was great to see you again today.
    I've put a link to your blog on my blog :) Thank you.

    1. Splendid to see you too. I've also linked to your blog. You got a much better picture of the Tawny Owl than I did.

  2. Replies
    1. Didn't think anyone would be looking at the file name.

    2. only because I saved the photo onto my file, amused by the repeat appearance of that daft owl..

    3. I'm not familiar with the boat, but if that were called the figurehead wouldn't that mean the helmsman is facing backward? ;-0 Jim n.L.

    4. No, it's steered with a wheel near the bow on the starboard side, like a bus. The wheel you can see in the picture is one of two small dummy ones for children to play with.

      By the way, this boat has a compass and navigation lights. And Bluebird Boats' latest acquisition, a water-jet powered dinghy, has built-in GPS. So there is no danger of them getting lost.