Wednesday 27 March 2019

Cetti's Warblers are very difficult to photograph, usually hidden deep in bushes and only revealed by their explosive song. So I was very glad to get a picture of one beside the Long Water, above the fallen horse chestnut tree.

In the same place there was a Blackcap singing on a holly branch.

Yesterday Tom got another difficult picture, of a male Robin feeding his mate -- a demonstration that he will look after her when she is on her nest.

Today I found another Robin carrying insects to give his nesting mate.

Another fine picture by Tom, of a Great Spotted Woodpecker getting into a strange position in its search for insects on a tree in the leaf yard.

There were a lot of Jackdaws around the Henry Moore sculpture -- I counted 27. They have been pushed over here from the leaf yard by the disturbance caused by people feeding Rose-Ringed Parakeets.

The Little Owl had come out on to an alder tree but was regretting it, as she was being scolded by a pair of Blackbirds. When a Magpie, attracted by the noise, flew into the tree it was too much for her and she flew back into her hole in the lime tree.

But when I went past a second time she had emerged again and looked down calmly.

The young Grey Herons are towering over their nest.

One of last year's brood came up from the Dell in search of food. It looked around from the balustrade, flew to the kiosk on the restaurant terrace to check for leftovers on a deserted table, tried one side of the lake, then spotted someone feeding the birds on the other side and flew over.

The Great Crested Grebe under the willow near the bridge was hanging around a Coots' nest. The Coots seem to have abandoned it half built, and it is clear that the grebe covets this well made nest, much better than anything he could have managed himself.

A Little Grebe appeared briefly in the reeds under the parapet of the Italian Garden.

Yesterday I had a video of two male Mute Swans trying to out-flounce each other. Today it's three of them.

A female swan was in a newly made nest at the east end of the Lido swimming area -- not a good place, but there are so few good nest sites that the swans will try almost anywhere.

The little group of Red-Crested Pochards are sociable but inclined to squabble over the sole female.

Cowslips have come out in the wildflower patch near the bridge. (Update: Cathy thinks this is probably a False Oxlip, a cross between a Cowslip and a Primrose. Both grow here.)

Julia was in St James's Park yesterday and sent me this pleasing picture of the Tawny Owl and her owlet. The young bird is beginning to shed its juvenile down.


  1. Great successes, the Cetti's and the Great Spotted doing a Wryneck impression. Jim

    1. Even wryer than a Wryneck -- can't think what it was trying to do.

  2. You don't think that flower might be a False Oxlip (hybrids between Primrose and Cowslips) do you Ralph? See: I'm not usually this pedantic, honestly! Cathy

    1. You're probably correct. It didn't look quite right to me. But there have been incontestable Cowslips in this patch in previous years.

    2. Thanks Ralph. I've got some "wrong 'uns" myself in my garden! They are still very pretty.

  3. Look who is all grown up! Great news that the owlet is doing so well.

    I may have said this a thousand times, but I never fail to be amazed by how tame and docile Herons are at the park. You cannot get within 200 metres of one here.

    The Swans look like they are taking a page from the Shovellers. I'd be funny to see a grand swan flouncing procession.

    1. Almost all the birds in the park are unusually calm around people. It's the constant passage of humans most of whom don't even notice them.