Monday 13 March 2017

The male Little Owl near the leaf yard was visible again today, peering over the edge of the hole in the chestnut tree.

And yes, this is the male in spite of his big white eyebrows being contracted into a narrow line as he looks suspiciously at the camera. If you compare the picture with the one taken on 9 March, you can see that the pattern of dots on his forehead is the same.

The female Little Owl near the Albert Memorial was in her usual place basking in the sunshine.

And the one in the lime tree near the Henry Moore sculpture was also out, though rather obscured by twigs.

Thirty feet above her, one of the pair of Carrion Crows left their newly constructed nest. So far the owl is standing up to these unwanted neighbours.

The Starlings which usually nest in the small plane trees near the boat houses are also having trouble. Two of their nest holes have been taken by Rose-Ringed Parakeets.

There are still only a few parakeets in Hyde Park. Most of them still favour Kensington Gardens where, among other things, crowds turn up to feed them at weekends.

The Coot nesting near the bridge also had unwelcome visitors when someone was feeding Mute Swans and Canada Geese right next to it and a small mob jostled around the nest.

The nest of the Great Crested Grebes under the willow tree near the bridge is hard to see, and can really only be viewed from across the lake. The pair were building it up.

So were the grebes at the island.

One of the Blue Tit boxes near the leaf yard remains usable despite the sad neglect of the past few years.

The metal plate around the hole is to stop other birds from enlarging it, or woodpeckers from breaking in. You use a 1 inch hole for Blue Tits, and a 1¼ inch hole for Great Tits.

There used to be a pair of Mistle Thrushes nesting in the plane trees to the east of the Albert Memorial. Today there were two pairs on the grass under the trees.

There is also another pair on the other side of the memorial, towards the Serpentine Gallery.

The many Robins on the path along the east side of the Long Water are all paired up and singing like fury.

Gadwalls go about in pairs all the year round. They are respectably married ducks, unlike the lustful Mallard drakes.

The Egyptian Geese at the Round Pond have lost one of their five young. Update: Virginia thinks it may have been killed by a dog, as it had puncture wounds.

When I saw them, both parents had wandered off vaguely and were some distance from their brood. They have these lapses of concentration, unlike Greylags and Canadas which are most attentive parents.

A Wood Pigeon was eating leaf buds on a tree near the bridge.

Just along the path there are two plum trees in full blossom. This flower had attracted both a Honeybee and a small gnat-like insect that I can't name.

Update: Jim says it's a male chironomid midge.


  1. Why would a dog attack the poor little baby? Are there feral dogs in the park? I hope that it's not that owners don't care. How very sad.

    1. All dogs are predators, though some of them are too lazy to kill. Their owners live in a dream world where their dog wouldn't harm a fly and everything it does is lovely and funny. When challenged, they become abusive and even violent.

  2. Is it likely the parakeets taking the starlings’ nest holes were attracted there by the man who walks up and down the Serpentine Road with a whistling contraption in his mouth to attract the parakeets to him? He’s often to be seen near those trees feeding the parakeets and they tend to perch on the branches waiting for him. How long before the Kensington Gardens invasion spreads to Hyde Park,I wonder?

    1. I think you're right, and in fact thought of writing about this, but I didn't want to libel this man. Nor am I going to speculate about his mental state. Nuff said.

  3. That's a male chironomid midge beside the honeybee. Jim