Sunday 29 December 2019

The male Little Owl in the lime tree near the Henry Moore sculpture was out a branch, looking so charming that he deserves both a still picture and a video.

He flew down to the pair's hole.

Three Grey Heron nests on the island were occupied, and there were five birds here in all.

This nest hasn't been reoccupied since the summer. I'm not sure whether herons return to the nest they used last season. Oddly, the only nest that hasn't been touched so far is the one that was successful in the summer, at the third attempt.

Black-Headed Gulls are very conservative in their choice of perches. I photographed this one with ring number EZ73323 a few days ago on exactly the same post. This is the only time I've ever been able to read a small metal ring with the naked eye simply by walking round the post.

A Moorhen wondered whether it could push a Herring Gull off a post. It decided not to take the risk, and jumped into the water.

A Mute Swan sat outside the Italian Garden, eating some duck food pellets that someone had given it. Once I would have thought that a swan here was in distress, stranded after losing a fight, but seeing the ease with which they can get back into the lake from here I reckoned that it was all right.

Carrion Crows, attracted by the prospect of scraps from the nearby funfair, have massed in the Dell, where they were poking around for worms and larvae. An Egyptian Goose was not pleased.

A Wren perched on a branch in the Dell.

The little shrubbery at the southwest corner of the bridge, normally a very good place for seeing and feeding small birds, has become less interesting because there is now a big feeder that draws them away -- but that's good for the birds if not for the photographer. They can still be lured out by the prospect of a delicious pine nut, and today the usual Robin ...

... and one of the Coal Tits came out to be fed.

I don't usually photograph the invasive Rose-Ringed Parakeets which have become an all too popular tourist attraction, but sometimes one poses just right.

You never know when you may need a snack.

Ahmet Amerikali photographed a Little Grebe on the Long Water, now beginning to get the colours of its breeding plumage.

Tom was at Rainham Marshes, where he got a picture of a Kingfisher on a reed mace head.

Joan Chatterley reports that the young Black Swan in St James's Park is now being given the cold shoulder by its parents, a necessary part of growing up. It's trying to fly, so far without success.


  1. When it can fly, perhaps the young swan will move to Hyde Park?

    1. At the moment it doesn't know about Hyde Park, or anywhere beyond St James's Park lake.

  2. Of course the Little Owl deserves all the pictures and videos we can get! He is looking particularly charming and irrisistible today.

    There is something a bit ignominious in the thought of the young Black Swan trying to get airborne and failing so conspicuously.

    That was a clever Moorhen. I don't think that Herring Gull was in the mood for play.

    1. Young swans of any species always go through a stage of attempts to fly and ignominious crashes. How lucky that they do it over water.