Tuesday 3 February 2015

After a frosty night the Shovellers on the Long Water had collected in a dense crowd on the edge of the ice.

The ice had moved one of the Little Grebes to their usual cold-weather place under the willow tree near the Italian Garden.

I think there were two here, but couldn't get a clear sight through the branches.

The Maned Goose at the Round Pond is rather fierce, chasing away any Egyptian Geese that get too near. It doesn't mind me -- there was an Egyptian in front of it when I took this picture.

The Scaup is still there and came close to the edge, annoyingly where the light was behind it.

A pair of Pied Wagtails and the young Grey Wagtail were hunting along the edge of the Lido. This is the female Pied Wagtail,with a grey back. Males have black backs.

A Herring Gull looking for worms in the Italian Garden yawned enormously. Do birds yawn for the same reason as people, and mammals generally? Can a bird be bored?

A small flock of Goldfinches was passing through the trees north of Kensington Palace. This one was singing.

The male Tawny Owl came out on to his usual perch around 3 pm.

I have been asked for a picture of the tree where the second pair of Little Owls have their hole. The easiest way to find it is to start at the north side of the Albert Memorial where the path opens out into the main park. At about 45° to your left -- towards the Round Pond -- you will see a tree stump 2ft 6in tall. Look beyond that stump and you will see the tree, a tall oak among other oaks. The arrow shows the position of the hole.


  1. Thanks Ralph for taking the time to do this! Much appreciated. Charlie

  2. Apparently birds DO yawn, but no one is quite sure why! http://www.birdwatchingdaily.com/blog/2013/10/10/julie-craves-explains-why-birds-yawn/

  3. Ralph I'm having trouble locating the tawny owl tree.. would you be able to give me some guidance? All the best, Stewart

    1. Find the path that runs between the statue of Physical Energy and the obelisk that is a monument to the explorer Speke. Exactly half way along it is a bench, on the west side of the path. From here, walk west (slightly to the right of right angles to the path) for 50 yards, to a tall horse chestnut tree with its trunk broken off about three quarters of the way up. This is the nest tree. The male Tawny Owl likes to sit in the broken top of the trunk.