Sunday 11 December 2016

The male Little Owl in the lime tree near the Henry Moore sculpture was out enjoying the sunshine.

So was the female Little Owl in the oak tree near the Albert Memorial.

A Redwing in one of the rowan trees on Buck Hill had discovered a single bunch of withered fruit overlooked by earlier visitors.

The usual female Chaffinch was in the same tree.

A Nuthatch in the leaf yard was probing the bark of a branch for insects.

A Coal Tit was more interested in being given a nut.

So was a Jay.

Charlie the Carrion Crow was having a bath in the Serpentine.

Some Feral Pigeons were also bathing, on one of the stone blocks that has fallen off the edge at Peter Pan.

There is no point in repairing the paving here, as the big Lombardy poplar at one end is leaning more and more perilously over the lake, and when it falls in its roots will rip up a considerable amount of ground.

A Great Crested Grebe was fishing under the willow next to the bridge, which has already collapsed into the water but manages to remain alive.

The young Grey Heron at the Lido restaurant was staring down from a reed raft, waiting for a fish to emerge from under the edge.

There was a patch of early snowdrops in the North Flower Walk.

And a cherry tree had completely lost the plot and was blossoming.


  1. Yes ...
    Well trees have been getting more confused over the last few years.
    There are definitely temperature changes which are affecting wildlife now.
    I heard that some Mallards bred (successfully) last January in London!
    How many Little Owl pairs have you got in the park now Ralph?

    1. There are three pairs whose location is known exactly, all of whom bred earlier this year and brought up two owlets each. There are also two pairs about which less is known, one north of the Round Pond and the other in Hyde Park, possibly in the Ranger's Lodge garden. There may well be more.

  2. Perhaps the cherry tree is Prunus subhirtella 'Autumnalis'. (It blooms intermittently from November to March).

    1. I wouldn't be at all surprised. The park is full of odd trees planted during the 19th and 20th centuries, including some very exotic things like the Siberian elm in the Rose Garden and the Chinese water fir at the outflow of the Serpentine. Recent plantings are all of native trees.

  3. Hi Ralph. Today I went to look at the Black Swan that has been reported for a fortnight at Brent Reservoir. I took a few pics and it is missing any black wingtips to this year's flight feathers and had a few white ones among the coverts, in common with your pic of 7 Sept. Other than that I wouldn't like to say whether or not it is he. It was very comfortable near me, perhaps the tamest of any waterbird there, but would not be fed brown bread; there already was a large amount unclaimed on the ground nearby. Anyway it was unmissable near the bridge. Jim n.L.

    1. Thanks for the information. It does sound as if it might be our Black Swan. When the Christmas panic has subsided, if it's still there I'll go up and see if it recognises me.