Tuesday 19 December 2017

The lake was frozen again. A Grey Heron perched on a post at the Vista.

A Black-Headed Gull found air bubbles under the ice interesting, and prodded them as if they might contain something edible.

Black-Headed Gulls like standing around on the ice, but the larger gulls find it less interesting. However, there was a Lesser Black-Back on the Long Water poking curiously at the surface. It must have seen ice before, as it is an adult at least four years old.

A pair of Moorhens looked for food on a raft in the frozen Serpentine.

Another had a vigorous wash in the icy water of the little stream in the Dell.

And a third preened in the willow tree near the bridge, a favourite haunt of Moorhens and a place where a pair nest every year.

The restoration of the feeders in the Rose Garden has brought back a Dunnock to pick up the spillage. It nips briskly about, ignoring the mob of Feral Pigeons.

Although the ground was frozen hard, a Blackbird could still find a worm in a flower bed.

A Coal Tit had eaten its fill at a feeder in the Dell, and perched on a branch to digest the meal.

The bold Robin beside the Long Water gets impatient if you photograph it instead of producing food at once. I only delayed it for ten seconds, during which it kept flying out to my hand.

The female Little Owl near the Albert Memorial yawned and went to sleep in the sunshine -- or at least that's what she seemed to be doing. Do birds yawn when they're sleepy?

The male of the pair at the leaf yard was out on a branch of his horse chestnut tree.

The female near the Henry Moore sculpture was tucked into an awkward corner of the lime tree, and wouldn't pose for a good picture.

But her mate, higher up in the same tree, was completely visible, and gave me a severe look over his fluffed-up feathers.


  1. Thank you for all the beautiful pictures of Little Owls

    1. Glad to know that some readers are enjoying the current plethora of owls.

    2. can't have too many of them to look at.
      (still missing the Tawneys, though. A friend told me he heard some late in the day near Kensington Palace?)

    3. There seems to be a pair somewhere between the palace and the Bayswater Road. We are going to do a thorough search of likely areas one evening around dusk.

  2. My canary did yawn when he was sleepy and content. Can't talk about other birds.

    Thinking about the Moorhen bonanza today, I've been trying to remember where precisely in Wiltshire did we see an enclosure with communal Moorhens. We stopped in a village en route to Stonehenge and in a cottage area there was a small enclosure with a tiny pond, a handful of Moorhens and a charming sign telling visitors those were communal Moorhens and not to do them any harm. Can't recall where it was (not Cotswold, that's for sure).

    It cheers me to see that even when temperatures are so low and the weather is so adverse birds do get on with their lives.

    1. How pleasing to see a village that appreciates Moorhens. They are genuinely useful birds, keeping down invertebrates that might spoil crops and gardens.