Saturday 17 February 2018

The female Little Owl near the Albert Memorial had another annoying visitor, a grey squirrel.

Yesterday, as darkness was falling, Tom got a picture of the pair coming out for an evening's hunting.

The owl near the Henry Moore sculpture looked out of her hole in the lime tree.

The owls at the leaf yard seem to have come together again for nesting, but all that could be seen today was a pair of yellow eyes looking out of the narrow slit that is the entrance to their hole in the chestnut tree. They seem to be more nervous than usual at the moment. Yesterday Tom got this picture of the male owl as he was about to rush into the hole.

He also photographed a Robin singing on the same tree.

Nearby on the Vista there was the sound of a Green Woodpecker drumming. He was unphotographable behind twigs, so here's a last picture by Tom of the female on the grass yesterday.

A Song Thrush was singing in the Flower Walk.

This would have been a video, but just as I started filming a couple of women stopped next to me and started talking loudly and drearily about dog food. They eventually went away, but then so did the thrush.

Just along the path, a Wren was hopping around under a tree.

The Redwings are still on the Parade Ground.

A Greylag Goose did a somersault during an enthusiastic wash on the Serpentine.

Several Mute Swans were having a communal washing session, each finishing with a flap to settle their wing feathers.

The nest that the Great Crested Grebes were trying to build against one of the plant baskets on the island has been taken over by Coots. Using their superior nest bulding skills, they have attached it firmly to the wire mesh with knobbly twigs, and decorated it with a bright purple crisp packet.

One of the foxes at the Vista was sunbathing on the bank.

An early Red Admiral butterfly drank nectar from a blossoming tree in the Rose Garden.

On the same tree, here is the first hoverfly I've seen this year. I'm informed that it's Eristalis tenax.


  1. That honeybee is a hoverfly, good photo though, i saw the same species or similar today at Downe house

  2. Agree the bee is in fact a honeybee mimic, the dronefly, Eristalis tenax.

    I've seen 2 Red Admirals this week- one yesterday at Walthamstow when I went to see the Little Bunting + one in Battersea a couple of days earlier.

    Love the rolling Greylag.

    1. Thank you both. Careless of me, though I'm not the first creature to be misled by a hoverfly.

  3. Coots are such enterprising creatures. They co-opt someone else's nest, make it structurally sounder and better, and then prettify it. They should be studied in Architecture school.

    1. Wish I had photographs of the Coot nests at Edgbaston reservoir in Birmingham. The water level in the reservoir is raised by winter rains and then falls through spring and summer, leaving the nests high and dry. The Coots retain access to their nests by building impressive ramps made of twigs.