Tuesday 21 February 2017

There was a surprise visitor to the leaf yard, a blue Budgerigar, which was going around with the Rose-Ringed Parakeets. In spite of being much smaller than them, it was refusing to be dominated. Obviously an escape from a house, it was very tame with people, and we took turns to feed it. It ate a great deal, and when I came by later it was still taking food from the visitors.

Sparrowhawks -- a male and a female, but we never see them together as a pair -- often pass over Kensington Gardens in the middle of the morning. This time the visitor was being harassed by Carrion Crows. In this distant picture the hawk looks almost the same size as the crow, but this is an illusion caused by it being nearer the camera. It was quite small and presumably male.

Another crow, I think Melissa, was bathing in the marble fountain in the Italian Garden when Virginia took this fine picture.

Just round the corner, a Jay gripped a tree trunk, waiting to be given a peanut.

There was no sign of the Kingfisher today, because there was a Grey Heron in the dead willow tree where it likes to perch. Higher up in the tree, a Mistle Thrush paused in the middle of preening.

The Nuthatches that come to the leaf yard were away in a tree where they may be nesting. The male sang from the top of the tree.

There were about 40 Redwings on the Parade Ground, hauling up worms from the well stocked rough grass under the trees.

Two Wrens came out of the bushes togther at the northeast corner of the bridge. They were probably mates but not a pair, as Wrens are polygamous.

Both the Little Owls at the Henry Moore sculpture were visible outside their hole.

The Egyptian Geese here still have their one gosling after six days, twice as long as they have ever managed before in 12 years.

The Mandarins at Peter Pan, which have been hard to see over the past few days, came out to be photographed. There were three males and two females, and perhaps others were lurking in the bushes.

A Cormorant caught a fair-sized perch.

The newly arrived Great Crested Grebes on the Serpentine are sorting themselves into pairs and claiming territory. These are displaying after chasing off a neighbour.


  1. We saw four Great Crested Grebes last weekend in our trusty local pond. They were all in lovely nuptial finery, but didn't seeem inclined to display.

    How pretty that blue Budgy is! Was it very hungry? Perhaps the poor thing hadn't had anything to eat since escaping.

  2. By the way,in case nobody knows (or cares): that budgerigar looks like a female, as far as I can make out the bit above the beak (with the 'nostrils', not sure what that's called). In males it's blue, in females a sort of dull pink, surprisingly. Lucky thing, if it met up with , and gets on with the parakeets. When I was small, I knew a colony of escaped budgies in a nearby wood. They seem to cope with northern European winters as well as the parakeets? Of course they're much happier in flocks , than alone in a cage.

    1. lovely photo of the pair of owls!

    2. I think the bit above the budgerigar's bill is called a cere. On this bird it was a bit crusty-looking, and people were speculating about whether it was OK. But on looking it up, it seems that female budgerigars get crusty in the breeding season (like some people).