Friday 30 January 2015

The second Little Owl nest hole, near the bicycle track north of the Albert Memorial, is occupied again.

The owls were there last spring, but were evicted by a pair of Stock Doves that wanted the hole for themselves, after which we never found where they had gone. There seem to be more than just the two pairs we know, since several Little Owls have been seen hunting on the grass in front of Kensington Palace after dark -- and after the park is shut.

In the tree nest to this one, some Ring-Necked Parakeets were having a loud dispute over the ownership of another hole.

The male Tawny Owl was not in his usual place when I passed the first time. Instead, there were several squirrels chasing each other around the tree. One of them stared cheekily into the nest hole.

The owl came out later in the afternoon.

One of the Kensington Palace Dunnocks was climbing up the trunk of a tree looking for insects in the cracks in the bark.

The Grey Heron that hangs around the Dell restaurant had been forced off the pavement by the press of people. It isn't shy, but can't bash its way through crowds of humans like a swan. It flew on to the restaurant roof, where it was buzzed by gulls. So it went to the far end of a restaurant terrace and perched on a rusty cast iron urn which is there for some reason. As soon as it arrived it was attacked by a Carrion Crow. A heron's life is a hard one.

Just offshore, the local pair of Great Crested Grebes were resting. The one that was in winter plumage recently has almost grown its summer feathers.

I can't tell which of this pair is male and which is female. They are both solidly built birds with broad heads, and look male. Grebes often get confused too.

The Scaup is still on the Round Pond. He stayed obstinately in the middle of the water, so this is a very distant shot.


  1. Beautiful Grebe photo. I never fail to be charmed by their elegant 'head-dresses' offset by their endearingly fluffy 'skirts'.