Wednesday 8 August 2018

The Kestrels on Buck Hill are not much disturbed by people looking and pointing cameras at them. They just stare back.

They are not even bothered by the arrival of the air ambulance. They can hover too. Thanks to Tom for this picture.

The Little Owl at the leaf yard likes to perch on this branch with an annoying twig in front of his face.

With the arrival of cooler weather, small birds are again coming out of the bushes to be fed. A Great Tit delicately enjoyed a pine nut.

The recent rain has softened the hard ground, and the white-faced female Blackbird can go back to worm hunting.

A young Blackbird landed in a blackberry patch to eat the ripe fruit.

A young Starling had the same idea. It is growing adult plumage, but its head and shoulders are still juvenile beige.

Many of the Jays are tatty-looking at the moment, but this one is immaculate.

My worry yesterday about one of the young Grey Herons having fallen out of the nest turned out to be unfounded. Today they were both there. One of them must have been lying down very flat inside the nest.

The Great Crested Grebe chicks from the east end of the island were out on the open water. Two of these were rescued on 19 July when they got separated from their parents, and had to be brought over to them by boat.

The Coots at the Serpentine outflow decorated their second nest with a purple plastic bag.

The Coots from the nearby reed bed have also built a second nest as a day bed for their chicks. It is a much flimsier thing than the strong nests they make for breeding, and is only intended to last a few days.

In a fountain pool in the Italian Garden, a teenage Moorhen pushed its way through the duckweed to get to a water lily, and two young chicks sheltered in a clump of plants.

Another Moorhen fed a chick on the edge of the Serpentine.

A Tufted duckling realised that its mother was getting too far away and hurried over to join her.

They are not much worried by Black-Headed Gulls, which are too small to snatch the chicks.

A Red-Eyed Damselfly rested on a patch of algae in the Serpentine.


  1. The Little Owl isn't doing that on purpose, I imagine. He is looking with interest at the camera, and furthermore he isn't wearing any "nyah nyah nyah" facial expression.

    What a remarkably tame Kestrel. I declare birds in Great Britain are so much tamer and more friendly than anywhere else.

    Tufted ducklings seem to be so much savvier than any other ducklings when it comes to surviving, I guess.

    1. The owl isn't really interested in me, I'm just something that turns up under his tree every morning and waves a black object around. I have to photograph him at the rare moments when he's looking in my direction, or wait till someone else goes past.

  2. The Black-Headed Gull/Tufted duckling size difference there is more than Lesser Black-Back/Pigeon and I still marvel at cold-weather melees for bread between Feral Pigeons and Black-Headed Gulls where the gulls never go for the pigeons' eyes. Maybe Black-Headeds are just less nefariously-minded? Jim

    1. Feral Pigeons are fiercer than Black-Headed Gulls, and you sometimes see them having savage fights, while the gulls just seem to strut about and moan at each other.