Tuesday 11 December 2018

It's not often that you see three Little Owls in a day. The sunshine brought out one near the Queen's Temple ...

... one near the Albert Memorial ...

... and one near the Henry Moore sculpture.

And I don't think I've ever got pictures of two Wrens on the same day before. There are lots of them in the park, but they're shy and hard to photograph. This one was near the Italian Garden ...

... and another posed with a Dunnock on a bramble in the scrub on the west side of the Long Water.

A short way off, a tapping noise revealed a Great Spotted Woodpecker trying to break into a tit box. But the old Australian gardener who made these boxes had the foresight to put a metal plate over the hole, and the woodpecker had to give up.

I'm surprised that there was a tit in this box. The gardener retired years ago and since then no one has bothered to maintain the boxes, which need cleaning out once a year after nesting has finished, and they are now full of detritus. Great and Blue Tits use boxes as a winter shelter.

The Chaffinch under the feeder in the Rose Garden has now become quite calm about my arrival to fill up the feeder. He came out to take a couple of pine nuts that I threw down for him.

A Cormorant enjoyed a wash and a flap in the sunlit reflection of a yellow tree on the Long Water.

Three Grey Herons perched in the birch trees above the upper nest, which also had a heron in it.

There was a fifth heron in a nearby tree but I couldn't get it into the same shot.

A Herring Gull and a Coot carefully examined a plastic cup before deciding that there was nothing of interest in it.

It's difficult for a Lesser Black-Backed Gull to tear bits off the carcass of a Feral Pigeon. Gulls' little feet are no use for gripping. This gull was trying to do it by clamping a promising morsel with its bill and then quickly backing off.

A Black-Headed Gull found a 'rat-tailed maggot' -- a hoverfly larva -- in the Serpentine. It's remarkable how much larger these larvae are than the adult insect.

A pair of Egyptian Geese exchanged courtesies -- fairly quietly by the standards of these noisy birds -- and then sauntered off together in the late afternoon light.

The Black Swan cruised over to the Vista to be fed.

There was a pair of Gadwalls near the Lido.


  1. I'm sure I'm going to regret asking this, but what would the Woodpecker want out of a tit box?

    So many Little Owls today! They must have been enjoying the sunlight.

    1. Great Spotted Woodpeckers peck their way into unprotected Blue Tit boxes and eat the eggs and chicks. If they can't get in the front they will go in through the side if they can find a foothold. I don't know whether the woodpecker really expected to find anything at this time of year.