Tuesday 9 August 2016

A small falcon flew overhead near the Round Pond and landed in a tree. It only stayed a few seconds and had its back to the light, so I couldn't see what it was, but was hoping that it would be one of the elusive Hobbies. But when I looked at the picture later, it was a Kestrel -- a welcome sight but less rare in central London.

The Little owlets near the Albert Memorial started calling. At once one of the adults flew out of the tree and went some distance away -- another sign, perhaps, that the owlets are getting annoying and about to be kicked out. The two youngsters perched next to each other in a horse chestnut.

The female Little Owl near the leaf yard was having a scratch in the nest tree.

The cygnet that has been adopted by the Black Swan is learning bad habits from him. As the Black Swan approached, the cygnet started showing off by chasing two Greylags that were minding their own business.

It also chased a Coot.

A pair of Mute Swans were courting over one of the air bubblers in the Serpentine. They clearly enjoy the jacuzzi sensation.

The Mallard family on the Serpentine are down to four ducklings. They should be large enough now not to be snatched by a Herring Gull, but a duckling's life is full of danger.

The Tufted Duck with the duckling had occupied the Coot nest again, but was having trouble with a young Herring Gull hanging around. Fortunately this nest is in a sort of alcove built into the netting, which makes it impossible for the gull to swoop down.

There are about ten Cormorants in the park now, arrived to hunt the now quite large young fish. This one jumped out of the water in to a post near the island, and just made it on to the top. They aren't agile enough in the air to land securely on such a narrow spot.

The new Great Crested Grebe family from the reed bed on the Long Water have three chicks. Here the middle one is struggling to swallow a slightly too large fish. It managed in the end.

While I was photographing this family, Virginia was busy with the family from the nest near Peter Pan. Sadly, the have lost another chick and are down to one. But she got a fine picture of it being fed.

The family near the bridge still have their three.

The new family on the Serpentine were in their usual place at the east end of the island. All was peaceful ...

... until the other parent brought a fish and gave it to one of the chicks. A Black-Headed Gull swooped in to grab the fish, but arrived slightly too late as the chicks crash-dived.

The grebe scolded the unsuccessful raider.


  1. Thanks you for another blog post.Do you Hyde park is safe after 7.30 pm on Saturdays? I want to show a friend the little owls.

    1. The Little Owls are in Kensington Gardens, not Hyde Park. At the moment the place officially closes at 8.45 pm, though in practice things drag on a bit. Anyway, you can always leave by one of the one-way turnstiles. Hyde Park closes at midnight. As for safety, it's as safe as anywhere in London. I would avoid the Marble Arch area (which is in Hyde Park anyway) on a summer weekend evening.

  2. Thanks for that. I have to admit that until recently I wasn't sure where Kensington Gardens ended and Hyde park starts.