Monday, 6 January 2020

Both Peregrines were on the barracks tower. I took a rather distant shot in case they moved ...

... and, as I came nearer, they started calling and moving around on the ledge, so that they disappeared. I couldn't see the cause of their excitement but they could, and then I got a momentary glimpse as another Peregrine flew past the tower. Suddenly they came out on the edge again and the male took off to chase the intruder away.

The nearest pair of Peregrines to this one are on the Houses of Parliament.

It was the turn of the female Little Owl near the Henry Moore sculpture to stand at the front of the hole.

There is a growing colony of Jackdaws around the sculpture. They returned to Kensington Gardens about six years ago, having been absent since 1968 when the Elm Bark Beetle killed the elms they liked to nest in. Since they came back their numbers have steadily increased, and they are now seen all over the park.

Carrion Crows are also on the increase, and it will be interesting to see which species wins. You would expect the larger birds to, but in Richmond Park a huge colony of Jackdaws has all but forced out the crows. Here are two crows drinking in the little stream in the Dell.

The pump working the Dell waterfall has still not been mended, and the Wren we have seen before is still prospecting for bugs in the mud at the top where the water level in the pool has dropped.

A bunch of Magpies perched on a tree near the bridge.

A Starling looked rather raffish.

A Dunnock looked for insects and worms in a flower bed next to the Lido restaurant. There has been a pair of Dunnocks here for years, not always the same ones of course, and they are unusually easy to see. In most places they're hidden under the bushes.

There is a new Grey Herons' nest being built from scratch on the south side of the island. This picture was taken from across the lake -- I'm enjoying my new 600mm lens.

Another pair of Mute Swans, desperate for a nesting site on the crowded lake, have started building next to a public path, perhaps thinking that the little bit of fence will protect them. Fortunately they are bound to give up soon, as a nest here would be an open invitation to foxes and dogs.

The Winter Wasteland has finally closed, and the long process of dismantling it is under way. This patch of grass next to its fence is less visited than usual, as people have to make a detour around the huge enclosure, and it provides a grazing ground for geese, in this case a flock of Egyptians.

A quick visit to the Round Pond found the Black Swan in good order.


  1. The Little Owl looks as if she was smiling in contentment. What a lovely image to end the day with.

    A bit of a weird stray thought, after meeting the imposing noble dragons from 'Guards, Guards!': wouldn't dragons be very similar to swans? In character, behaviour, bulk, and gait.

    1. At least the swans don't accidentally explode if they consume an unsuitable diet, like the ones in the Terry Pratchett books.