Friday 11 August 2017

A Moorhen was feeding a chick at Peter Pan. The clear water gives a view of a Moorhen's swimming action, which is almost the same as walking. Its very large feet make up for the absence of webbing, and it can swim quite fast.

One of the pair of Moorhens in the Dell was affectionately eating its mate's parasites.

One of the young Great Crested Grebes on the Long Water was fishing at Peter Pan. It has grown a black crest and its stripes are beginning to fade, a sign that it is old enough for independent living, though it will have to work very hard at first to catch enough to keep itself going.

The chicks on the Serpentine are still being fed. Their parent was fishing under the small electric boat.

The Black Swan was on the shore at the Lido restaurant.

The pigeon-killing Lesser Black-Backed Gull was on the Long Water again, with his mate and offspring. The pigeons here are more naive and easier to catch that the ones at the Dell restaurant, who have seen many of their relatives become lunch.

The racing pigeon is still in the Rose Garden, and shows no sign of going home. It has a supply of food from spillages from the bird feeder, a fountain to drink and bathe in, and bushes for shelter, and is quite comfortable. Its owner said that the best thing do do was to leave it alone, and maybe it will find its way home later, perhaps when the weather gets cold. A homing pigeon that doesn't go home isn't much use anyway.

One of the young Robins was nearby, waiting for a turn at the feeder. It can't grip the smooth metal bar at all well, and has to flutter its wings to stay on  ...

... unlike a Coal Tit, with its strong little feet that can hook on to anything.

There was just one Long-Tailed Tit on a horse chestnut tree at the back of the Lido.

The autumnal appearance of the leaves is caused by an infestation of leaf miner moth.

One of the Little Owls near the Albert Memorial memorial can also sometimes be glimpsed in the horse chestnuts around the oak tree where their nest hole is.

A few days ago Dave and Tony the gardeners were returning to the park offices behind the Magazine at the end of work, and the saw three young Little Owls on the fence next to the gate. We knew that the Little Owls here had bred, and I've heard the owlets calling, but the thick leaves on the horse chestnuts made them impossible to see.

There are still plenty of dragonflies, including several Common Darters around the Dell and the Rose Garden.

An Emperor dragonfly was hunting over the Long Water under the parapet of the Italian Garden.

A Red-Eyed damselfly shared its perch with some other insects on a floating twig in the little pool at the top of the Dell waterfall. It's standing on a bit of thistledown, which conceals the fact that its wings are neatly folded along its abdomen -- something that dragonflies can't do.


  1. Strange thing, a Long-tailed Tit all by its lonesome. I am so used to seeing those fluffy little lollipop birds in merry, ever-moving, roving bands.

    I don't think we perceive as clearly as we should how much effort, patience and I think ingenuity you must invest to get the notoriously retiring and shy Little Owls to 'sit' for their wonderful portraits. Almost like a painter.

    1. Hope the Long-Tailed Tit found its flock. If it waited in the same place, as it seemed to be doing, they would pass by again.

      I've been photographing the leaf yard owls for over five years now, and have become effectively invisible to them. I have to call to make them look round.

  2. Oh, that is wonderful. What do you call them? Do they recognize your voice?

    1. I just say Hello owl, would you mind turning round? Probably reading a laundry list would have the same effect.

  3. Where is the leaf yard. Thanks

    1. It's the railed enclosure with the Peter Pan statue on its east side.