Tuesday, 2 August 2016

A Song Thrush was taking a moment's rest from rummaging in the soggy lawn mowings on the Vista.

Blackbirds like rain. However wet they get, it brings up plenty of worms.

There was a very small bird flitting around in the same tree, a hawthorn near the Italian Garden. It turned out to be a Chiffchaff.

A Pied Wagtail at the edge of the Round Pond lunged at a passing insect.

Some Starlings were eating what seemed to be couscous. A young Egyptian, one of Blondie's family, wandered over to see if it was any good, didn't like it, and went back to cropping the grass.

A Grey Heron in the Italian Garden was standing in the middle of the water lilies, evidently hoping to see a fish between the leaves.

The older of the two Great Crested Grebe families on the Long Water made an expedition to the Serpentine. One of the parents caught a fish too large for the chicks -- in fact it was having some difficulty swallowing it itself. A chick didn't like seeing a fish disappearing, and tried to grab it.

The Black Swan and his adopted cygnet found a patch of willowherb which had fallen over and started eating it enthusiastically. The Mallards liked it too.

The teenage Mandarin, not seen for some time, turned up at the Vista.

And the lone Mallard duckling was alive and well at Peter Pan.

The female Little Owl at the leaf yard was sitting in the rain on the nest tree.

One of the owlets near the Albert Memorial was also visible in an oak.

At the moment they are keeping to a small area about 30 yards southwest of their nest tree.


  1. Ralph,
    I am starting to find Owls a little bit, well, extremely infuriating.
    i came to visit last week for a whole day short notice and that was the day the owls were not seen.
    This is the 5th time.
    We did however see the Reed Warblers and fed Starlings digestives so it wasn't a complete fail!
    Is there any place that the Little Owls at the chestnut tree sit most visibly?

    1. Sorry you missed the owls again. The most reliable place in the chestnut tree near the leaf yard -- the nest tree, with brambles round the base -- is to stand at the edge of the next chestnut tree up the hill and look at the the top left corner of the nest tree at the end of a big diagonal branch going up at 45° to the left. The male owl likes to sit near the edge of this branch. The owlets near the Albert Memorial may be easier to find, though only for the next few days because they will be kicked out soon. Find the nest tree, go 30 yards to the southwest, and listen for their hissing.

  2. A depressing sign of the hegemony of Western cuisine that an Egyptian Goose should dislike couscous.