Friday 24 July 2015

A rainy day was welcome to the Blackbirds, who could now pull worms out of the softened soil. This one has a very late nest at the Sunken Garden -- I could hear a young one calling -- and was out fetching food for it.

In the absence of people with dogs, the two Canada Goose families had an opportunity to crop the grass in peace on the north shore of the Serpentine.

At the start these two families were uneasy with each other, even hostile. But now they are inseparable.

The undersized young Egyptian Goose is still on the Serpentine, and was feeding with its four much larger siblings. But now it is slightly lame in its right leg. The leg is not broken, and the bird can put its foot down flat to the ground. It has a chance of recovery, but I am worried about it.

The two Mallard ducklings on the Long Water were at Peter Pan. Seeing a young Herring Gull looking down at them from a post ...

... their mother took them across the lake at maximum speed, with the ducklings scampering to keep up ...

... to relative safety under the wall of the Italian Garden, where there was some duckweed for them to eat.

House Martins were flying low over the Round Pond picking up insects, which fly low in wet weather. These birds are always here, and it seems almost certain that they are nesting somewhere in the outbuildings of Kensington Palace.

There are some new notices in the park illustrating the wildlife, with good paintings by
Madeleine Smith. These replace the badly drawn ones put up a few years ago, in which the birds were almost unrecognisable. This is the centre of the one for Kensington Gardens, showing our owls.

And this is a detail of the Hyde Park one, with a Hobby chasing an Emperor dragonfly.

Sorry about the low quality of these pictures -- I did what I could with a telephoto lens in the rain.

The real Hobby and the real owls were nowhere to be seen. The Little Owls would have been sheltering in tree holes. There was loud scolding from several birds in a small group of trees (two horse chestnuts, an oak and a lime) a few yards to the west of the Tawny Owls' nest tree, which suggested that one of the Tawnies was in there. I went round looking carefully but could see nothing. But it might easily have been a Carrion Crow or a Magpie that was causing the fuss.


  1. I admire you Ralph for ignoring the very heavy rain today and taking such good photos of so many of the birds out and about and you still managed to give us a running commentary of what you saw. Well done.