Tuesday 2 December 2014

There is a disappointing lack of Shovellers on the lake -- still only half a dozen including a pair on the Round Pond. Pairs are circling together shovelling up food, but there is nothing like the grand circular processions of 50 or more birds that we had a few years ago.

Fallen leaves still provide amusement for the birds on the Serpentine. This young Mute Swan is one of the seven from the nest next to the Italian Garden.

There were Jackdaws again in the Diana fountain enclosure, but only two of them today. They got too near some Carrion Crows and were chased out.

The two Coal Tits in the leaf yard followed me around the whole time I was in the area, and amassed a good number of pine nuts to hide in cracks in tree bark. They are slowly getting more confident about people being near them.

A visit to Kensington Palace found a pair of Pied Wagtails running around the front lawn.

Both they and Grey Wagtails often visit this piece of carefully tended grass, which is kept short enough for them to be able to run around easily. This one is on the edge of the little pond surrounding Princess Louise's statue of her mother Queen Victoria.

There were three Green Woodpeckers on the Archery Field, along with eight Magpies and a solitary Mistle Thrush.

One of the ornamental holly bushes at Kensington Palace had a Wood Pigeon hanging upside down to reach the berries.

Moments after I took the picture, it fell off. It had no time to take flight because it was only two feet above the ground, and crashed ignominiously on its back.

It took three visits to the Tawny Owl's tree to find the male owl, who finally emerged at 3.15.


  1. I'm guessing the mild weather is limiting the need to migrate for many duck species explaining lower shoveler numbers?

  2. Thanks for your advice, experience and company. Saw the Tawny at 3.35. No sign of the Little owls at all.

    1. Glad you saw the Tawny Owl -- I was worried that you might miss him after one visit when he wasn't out yet. I think the Little Owls may have moved to the better cover in the leaf yard for the winter, and won't be back in their nest tree till spring.

  3. is there any particular time of day that the Tawny Owls or Little Owls are visible or does appear to be any time ? So far on my previous visits I have failed to see them.....I can only assume I have been coming too early in the day.....

    1. You can usually see the Tawny Owl on top of the nest tree from 3.30 pm onwards. Otherwise there is no regularity, and I think the Little Owls may have decided to spend winter days in the leaf yard rather than their now bare nest tree.