Monday 20 August 2018

The Little Owl in Hyde Park was in the same oak tree near the Bluebird Boats cabin, and remained there for several hours. He wasn't easy to see among the leaves.

The second time I passed, his mate called to him from a nearby horse chestnut tree, but she was completely invisible in the thick foliage.

There was a brief glimpse of the female Kestrel over Buck Hill.

David Element sent a much better picture of her.

A Jackdaw perched on an eroded statue of a water nymph in the Italian Garden.

Robins have started singing again. The couples have now split up and are claiming territories of their own, which both sexes sing to defend. They will continue to sing right through the winter.

One of the young Grey Herons is down from the nest. It stood on the edge of the island, looking baffled by the world.

The other was still in the nest, wondering whether to join it.

And adult, probably a parent of the young ones, was a few yards away on the island taking absolutely no notice of its offspring.

Another sat on its haunches on the awning of the small electric boat. The tears in the canvas were made by Herring Gulls with nothing better to do.

The Great Crested Grebe family from the west end of the island are not often seen, but they had come out in front of the wire baskets today. The two chicks are growing well.

I am now absolutely sure that the Coots at the Serpentine outflow have two chicks. One was being fed on the lake ...

... while the other called from the bottom of the weir, and a parent looked for some food to take down to it. No doubt it will climb up the plank in its own good time, as its sibling already has.

A pair of Moorhens settled down in a clump of plants behind the railings of one of the small boathouses.

The two Bar-Headed Geese at the Round Pond were also making themselves comfortable.

One of the Tufted ducklings at Peter Pan rested beside its mother on a fallen tree.

Migrant Pochards have arrived on the Long Water. I counted 39 of them.

Two teenage Mute Swans preened together, mirroring each other's moves.


  1. splendid synchronised preening. I'm glad the Robins started singing again - my 2nd favourite, after Blackbirds. Some of those near me tend to sing in winter; do they all , or is the light pollution/ London noise levels, or something?

    1. They all sing in winter. And if there are street lights they sing all night too, which is a strain on them.

  2. How I love hearing the Robins sing! It makes me feel autumn is drawing near. I cannot wait to hear and see small birds again.

    So the Coots have raised two chicks despite their being washed down the weir. They have proven that they are at long least capable of learning from past mistakes.

    Love the picture of the Jackdaw peching on the water nymph. It's a pleasure to be able to see pictures of the jackdaws again. They are always doing all sorts of interesting things.

    Are the Herring Gulls playing with the canvas, or is it simply the manifestation of gulls' appetite for destruction?

    1. It's wonderful to hear the Robins again. A Coal Tit was also singing -- they seem to start up at any time for no clear reason. Song Thrushes also sing on sunny winter days.

      Herring Gulls enjoy pulling ropes and strings and threads. They are strong enough to rip canvas. I have watched them attacking this awning, and there is no doubt that they were having fun.

  3. "Perched upon a bust of Pallas" would I think be the full diagnosis. ("Placid", too, arguably.)

    1. She is one of the attendant nymphs of the god of the Westbourne, whose face is carved on the keystone of the central arch of the loggia. Her own face has suffered in London's acid rain.