Tuesday 12 March 2019

The young Grey Heron in the Dell doesn't seem to have suffered any ill effects from its gigantic meal of carp two days ago. But I wonder how long it took before it was hungry again.

The three heron chicks in the nest on the island are getting larger by the day.

It seems strange to describe these great gawky creatures as chicks, but they are still being fed by their parents, can't fly, and have not yet left the nest.

The Mandarins were still at Peter Pan, under a fallen tree with Cormorants standing on it. The ducks often disappear under the bushes on the right, so you often don't see them even when they're quite near.

One of the Moorhen pair in the Dell came up to the top of the waterfall.

Magpies were searching for worms near the leaf yard.

A flock of Rose-Ringed Parakeets descended on the California bay tree in the Rose Garden and started ripping off the new leaves. They chew the leaf buds briefly and spit them out, thus destroying a large quantity, and can completely wreck a tree.

Parakeets on Buck Hill were pecking in the grass. I went over to see what they were eating and sure enough, it was young dandelion leaves, one of their favourite foods.

(Dandelion leaves make an excellent salad for humans, if gathered when they are just beginning to come up, before they get too bitter, and served with a plain oil and vinegar dressing.)

It was drizzling when I set out, but soon started to rain properly.

A flock of Tufted Ducks gathered at the north end of the Long Water.

But the sound you hear in the video is the fountains in the garden, not a torrential downpour.

The conditions suited Mistle Thrushes fine, bringing up worms for them.

A Robin was less happy ...

... and a Blue Tit was getting seriously wet.

The wet grass impeded the Pied Wagtails on the north side of the Serpentine, and they were walking quite slowly.

But Great Crested Grebes shrug rain off.

I still haven't found the Little Owls near the leaf yard and the Queen's Temple. They will only be findable if they call, and they're quiet at the moment. Meanwhile the hole in the chestnut tree which they used for so long has been taken by squirrels.

Stephen Young went to St James's Park and got a fine picture of the surviving Tawny owlet.


  1. I hope this more fortunate Tawny will desist from flinging itself on the ground. Let us hope.

    The Blue Tit looks miserable. I don't think I've ever seen a Wagtail's running around slowly.

    The young Heron has had enough food to pursue aesthetic purposes, I would wager, such as looking pleasingly harmonious with the lovely surroundings of the Dell. Primum vivere, deinde philosophari, that must be its thought.

    1. When watching herons standing around looking as if they were contemplating the mysteries of the universe, I've often wondered what they were thinking about. And the only answer I can come up with is Not much. I think they're completely switched off except for a warning system that flags up food or danger.

  2. Pleased to see the remaining Tawny Owlet is still doing well.