Sunday 19 August 2018

The Little Owls in Hyde Park have been remarkably hard to see, though a stranded owlet was rescued a month ago -- see the post for 19 July. But today I heard a Little Owl calling in an oak tree just across the path from the Bluebird Boats cabin, and managed to get a picture of it.

As far as I know, this is the first picture of one of the adults here. They probably spend most of their time in the Ranger's Lodge garden, which is private. However, it was in this tree that the first Little Owl in the park in recent years was seen in December 2011, before I started the blog.

The female Kestrel was hunting over Buck Hill ...

... and perched in her favourite tree, a lime on the eastern edge of the open grass, where a dead branch gives her a good view of the ground.

You can often hear Wrens in the reed bed at the east end of the Serpentine, though they seldom come into view.

One of the young Grey Herons on the island had climbed out of the nest on to a branch some distance away.

The other was in the nest stretching a large and fully serviceable wing. It's time they took the plunge and started flying. Maybe their parents have to stop feeding them to drive them out of the nest.

The three young Great Crested Grebes near the bridge are also nearly ready for independence, and their begging calls have quietened down. One was with a parent ...

... and another was resting in the shade of the fallen willow.

The Coot chick at the outflow is still being pampered by its parents, and was resting complacently on the nest.

Moorhen chicks start feeding themselves early. This one in the Italian Garden stood tall on its remarkably long legs and huge feet. They can run like the wind from the moment they are hatched.

One of the Tufted ducklings at Peter Pan searched for food in the shallow water ...

... while its mother guarded the family. She is moulting, and you can see that she has no flight feathers at the moment.

New families of Mallards have been appearing for months. With these and the Tufted Ducks, it has been a remarkable year for breeding, and even with the vulnerable Mallard ducklings the survival rate is higher than usual.

There was a mass bashing session on the shore of the Serpentine.

On a post a few yards away, a notice in Italian asked bafflingly, 'The idea has reached its equilibrium. Are you willing to abandon it?'


  1. So glad to see that the grebe chicks from the bridge are thriving. My kids think of them as “their” Great Crested grebes since these were the first ones they had seen in their lives (being from the US).

  2. It's good to know that people from all over the world are following these little stripy creatures.

  3. Indeed, how could one not? Only a heart of stone would not find them endearing.

    Really love the detail of the Tufted duckling's feet in action while underwater.

  4. Oh my God, just saw the clip of the mass bashing. If that is supposed to be practice for self defence (I pray that it is some sort of cardio, not actual practice drills), they are in for a rude awakening if the chips are down.

    1. I think it's supposed to be some kind of exercise routine for upper body strength rather than training to defend oneself according to the Good Old Queensberry Rules.