Friday, 3 January 2020

It was another dark morning, slightly drizzly at first, but there was still a Little Owl in the lime tree near the Henry Moore sculpture. For a change it was the female.

This Jay had just been given a peanut, and you might have expected it to be pleased. Instead it stood on the railings and glared at me over its Stalin moustache until I gave it another.

A Carrion Crow at Bluebird Boats tried to undo a cord wrapped around a cleat. Both crows and gulls are fascinated by rope, always wanting to pull or unravel it.

There were two Pied Wagtails on the roof of one of the small boathouses, but they wouldn't get close enough to have them in the same shot. They flew away chasing one another.

As I passed the bridge there was a sudden rush of small birds wanting to be fed, much hungrier than they have been recently. There were about thirty Great Tits ...

... and half a dozen Blue Tits ...

... and the usual pair of Coal Tits, though they came and went too fast to be photographed.

A Chaffinch clearly wanted to join in, but he doesn't quite dare to come down yet.

The area where people used to feed the Rose-Ringed Parakeets has been cordoned off after thousands of trampling feet turned it into a muddy waste. Now they are restricted to the path, and it's often quite hard to get through the jostling mob of humans and birds.

The only Grey Herons' nest that was successful last year was reoccupied for the first time. One of last year's pair was very unkempt like the bird shown here, and it is likely to be the same one.

As I approached the Italian Garden, a Mute Swan rushed down the steps to the fountain and jumped into the water. It was pursued by an angry male with wings raised who went the same way and chased it down the Long Water.

A Grey Squirrel scolded something furiously, but I couldn't see what it was. Perhaps there was a fox in the undergrowth.

Just as I was going home the clouds blew over and the sun came out. So did the male Little Owl near the Albert Memorial, though only for a moment. There was just time for one shot.

The sunlight glinted on the golden angels on the memorial. Its iconographic scheme is hierarchical, so presumably the upper ones are archangels.


  1. I saw the owl at the Albert Memorial in the late afternoon but like you only got a very brief glimpse.
    There were at least 9 shovellers on the Round Pond.
    Earlier I saw a heron in Holland Park. It was poised on the edge of what looked like a small pond in one of the enclosures.

  2. I didn't think there was enough water in Holland Park to sustain a heron. But if they've stocked the Japanese pool with ornamental koi they'll be in for a nasty surprise.

    1. I've heard of a fishery that nearly went bankrupt because of an abundance of herons that took it for an all you can eat buffet.

      How on Earth can a swan chase another one on foot? I imagine it must have involved some very quick waddling.

      Lovely Little Owls...

    2. Yes, quick waddling. But when both travel at the same speed it's a chase. And when they were both on the water, of course the pace became a lot faster and they took off and flew all the way to the bridge.