Wednesday 1 October 2014

The Little Owls were in separate trees, the male on his usual perch in the nest tree ...

... and the female in the tree next to it.

I don't think they had had a disagreement, they just felt like some time on their own. The female owl is larger than the male, but the difference is not as great as appears in these pictures. He is sitting with his feathers flat, and she has fluffed herself up after a preening session. The two are exactly the same colour, and the difference seem her is simply caused by the way the light was falling on them.

The male Tawny Owl was also in his favourite place on the couple's nest tree.

He didn't come out until after 3 pm. At the moment he seems to be visible in the early morning and the late afternoon, but much less so in the middle of the day.

When Canada geese are flying, they breathe every four wingbeats, and open their beaks as they do so.

They have perfectly good nostrils to breathe through, and I guess that this is something to do with dissipating the heat that these large birds create in vigorous action.

A Black-Headed Gull was investigating some salad dumped on the edge of the Serpentine, perhaps attracted by the bright colours.

It didn't eat any. Nor did a Canada Goose which had also come over to investigate.

Two of the four Great Crested Grebe chicks on the Long Water were practising their fishing skills. Effective fishing takes quite a long time to learn, and they were not catching anything, to the disappointment of the Black-Headed Gull that was shadowing them, hoping to grab their catch.

A Blackbird was eating yew berries in the Flower Walk.


  1. Dear Ralph,
    Would you bee agreeable to me using your nice picture of a male blackbird with a yew berry in its beak?
    I'm writing a blog about reproduction in yew trees and the odd phenomenon of partial sex change that is rarely encountered.

    1. Please feel free to use any picture from this blog as you like. Just give me a credit somewhere. If you would like a larger version of this picture, or would like to know about other and possibly better pictures of Blackbirds eating yew berries, please put a comment on the latest post (not an old one, which might be overlooked) giving your email address. To avoid this being harvested by spammers, write [at] instead of @.. Also, as soon as I see this comment I will record your address and remove the comment to protect you.