Tuesday 27 August 2019

The male Little Owl near the Henry Moore sculpture appeared unexpectedly in front of the hole in the lime tree, which the pair now use only outside the breeding season, preferring to nest in an invisible place in a horse chestnut farther up the hill. He's a shy bird, unlike his mate, and I could only get to a hundred yards from him before he retreated into the hole.

A Mistle Thrush on Buck Hill foraged in the long grass, difficult going for a bird but full of tasty grasshoppers.

Starlings were waiting at the Dell restaurant to snatch leftovers off an empty table, but the place was so crowded they had to go back to looking for bugs on the ground. However, one of them was delighted to find a grape.

A Starling ate a blackberry beside the Long Water.

Ahmet photographed this one playing with a leaf.

This Blue Tit near the bridge was making serious use of leaves, pulling them down with a foot so that it could eat insect eggs stuck to the underside.

On the other side of the path, a Jay waited before swooping down to take a peanut.

This is one of the pair of Carrion Crows that brought up two youngsters near the Dell. It's looking sadly tatty after the long task of feeding them, but will recover.

A Grey Heron sunbathed on the roof of the Dell restaurant, panting with the heat.

One of the Great Crested Grebes at the east end of the island carried the three chicks while its mate went fishing for them.

The single chick at the other end of the island could also be seen.

The Tufted ducklings on the Long Water are now teenagers, hard to distinguish from adults.

Virginia sent an interesting picture of a Mallard family on the Round Pond. Two fairly large ducklings follow their mother, and after them comes a third duckling apparently from the same brood as the other two, but far smaller. She said that it had had a hard time from its siblings, but they have now accepted it.

There was an Egyptian Goose family on the Serpentine a couple of years ago where the same thing happened, and the runtish gosling survived and grew up into a very undersized adult.

Here's a video of the shoal of young perch that emerged from the wire baskets next to the bridge.

Tom was at Farlington Marshes Nature Reserve near Portsmouth, and got a picture of a Wryneck.

It's a tricky bird to find, though amazingly we had one in Hyde Park on 2 October 2013, where it was photographed by an American visitor, Sandy Sorkin -- see this blog entry.

This is Tom's video.


  1. Wrynecks are such wonderful birds to watch. Been a little while since I last saw one. Londonbirders have reported 2 sightings over the last week but they can be really tricky to see.

    1. Sadly I missed the one in Hyde Park. So did everyone else who turned up after it was reported -- Sandy Sorkin was the only person to see it.