Friday 23 November 2018

The female Little Owl near the Henry Moore sculpture was back in her old hole in the lime tree.

During the summer the pair had moved up the hill to breed in a horse chestnut, but this tree has been home to them for several years.

A brief and distant view of a Kestrel on Buck Hill. The Albert Memorial looks as if it was growing out of a tree.

There's always time for a dance.

This is the pair of Great Crested Grebes from the west end of the island. The pair from the east end were here too, but they couldn't see the dance because the basket was in the way. They would have been furious at unauthorised dancing in their territory.

The Black Swan was at the Vista. She took off ...

... with a group of Mute Swans, which climbed to fly over the bridge. Swans won't fly under the bridge -- they are big and unmanoeuvrable and the chain on the other side is a frightening obstacle.

A Moorhen climbed up the chain intending to knock a Black-Headed Gull off the post. Usually these gulls fly off at once when challenged, but this one stood its ground.

Two Cormorants fished together under the bridge.

A Black-Headed Gull had a wash on the Serpentine. It needs a lot of vigorous rinsing to get parasites out of feathers.

A Common Gull preened on an orange plastic buoy on the Round Pond.

Two Magpies perched on urns in the Italian Garden.

One of the family of Carrion Crows on Buck Hill had found a small but of a pigeon, no doubt killed by the usual Lesser Black-Backed Gull, and was economically finishing the last scraps.

There was a single Mistle Thrush in the rowan tree

The usual Blackbirds were elsewhere, but the local Jay turned up to be fed.

A Wren appeared for a moment in the reed bed under the Diana fountain.


  1. Nice to see the grebes doing their dance. It was a really dreary day to be out.

    1. A long-lost Little Owl, a Kestrel, a Great Crested Grebe dance and the Black Swan in the air relieve the greyest of days. On this blog, you can tell when it's really dreary because the amount of text goes up, desperately trying to spin dull pictures into a story.

    2. All the years I have been following this blog, I cannot recall a single dull picture. The text though is more than capable of standing on its own, and I certainly would sacrifice my (non-existent) firstborn to see you write a book on the birds in Kensington Gardens.

      Is the Black Swan a better flyer than the Mute Swans? She appears to be more mobile when airborne.

    3. Very kind of you to say that. But there have been some very static days recently.

      In the sequence of pictures showing the Black Swan, I tactfully didn't show the one where she failed to get enough altitude for the bridge, or panicked, and had to make a swift right turn and come down on the water this side of it. She seems less powerful in flight than the Mute Swans. On the other hand, a Mute Swan couldn't have made that turn, so she is certainly a bit more agile.