Monday 2 May 2016

A Tawny Owl was seen yesterday, by Jim. It was in a horse chestnut tree roughly southwest of the old nest tree and across the path. This picture is intended only as a guide. It is taken from the old owl tree. At the bottom right is the clump of brambles around the base of the beech next to the old tree. The tall tree on the right is the basswood (American lime) tree just this side of the path, and beyond that are three horse chestnuts -- I'm not sure which of the three it was in.

Needless to say, we walked all round them but couldn't find the owl.

In fact the only owl on view today was the Little Owl in the lime tree up the hill from the Henry Moore. He was dozing, but woke up enough to give me a sleepy look before he settled down again.

There was a Kestrel high over the north edge of Hyde Park. It was probably looking for Swifts, but there were just two over the lake, not worth the effort of trying to catch them, and it sloped off.

The Great Spotted Woodpecker on the east side of the Long Water was in his usual tree, but more visible than recently.

A Green Woodpecker flew into a plane tree in the avenue between the Physical Energy statue and the Albert Memorial. I think this is one of the pair that nested in this area last year and raised at least one young bird, which could be seen between here and Queen's Gate.

Also here, a Mistle Thrush was singing in an oak tree.

There was an odd sight at Peter Pan: a Feral Pigeon floating in the water. It seemed quite happy, and was fanning out its tail in the normal way of a pigeon having a bath.

It took off from the water without trouble. I've seen a Wood Pigeon fall into the lake and not be able to take off, so that it had to row ashore with its wings. But Feral Pigeons are smaller and more agile.

A Carrion Crow was calling from a blossoming cherry tree south of the Serpentine.

The Black Swan and his girlfriend were nearby, preening on the edge of the water.

A very dark male Pied Wagtail was running along the other shore of the lake.

The Great Crested Grebes' third nest at the bridge is going ahead. They had some difficulty in making it stick when they started, but eventually a few twigs must have caught on and the nest is now quite large and solid-looking, at least by grebe standards.


  1. Surely Ralph Kestels do not go after Swifts, they swoop down on mice etc after hovering. They also would not be strong enough to deal with a swift in flight?

    1. All I can say is that I've seen this behaviour twice. They may not catch a Swift, but they have a try.

    2. Sounds like that kestrel has been watching too many hobbies and getting ideas above its station!

  2. Great to read about the tawny owl sighting!

    1. Let's hope someone manages to find these elusive creatures.