Wednesday, 22 January 2020

It was a dull misty day, the worst conditions for photography. But surprisingly there there three Little Owls to be seen. Near the Henry Moore sculpture, first the male ...

... and then the female owl came out of the hole in the lime tree.

Both these pictures were taken from the same spot. The difference in their sizes is very striking.

The male owl near the Albert Memorial looked out of the hole in the afternoon. He's looking quite large because he's fluffed up against the chill, but the rather flat top to his head and the big eyebrows show him to be male.

The Grey Herons' nest on the south side of the island has been continuously occupied for several days. It's the only nest here that seems to be active at the moment.

A Black-Headed Gull picked up a stick and took it to the line of buoys at the Lido, where the neighbours eyed it enviously.

The pigeon-killing Lesser Black-Backed Gull is now almost completely back to his shining white breeding plumage. He is a very fine figure of a gull, and he knows it.

The Great Crested Grebe pair at the bridge are reserving their nest site under the willow tree.

The marble fountain in the Italian Garden has been out of order for several days. A Moorhen ate algae off the top.

Moorhens will eat almost anything, and that's the secret of their success. But what tiny things, invisible to both the eye and the camera, is the Moorhen eating here? It's certainly getting something, because at one point you can see it chewing.

A pair of Mute Swans are back behind the railings of one of the small boathouses starting another nest. The railings don't make it safe, as a fox can easily wade round the end.

A female Tufted Duck turned upside down in the water to preen her white belly.

A Blue Tit near the bridge added a bit of colour to the day.

A Dunnock picked up split seeds under the feeder in the shrubbery at the Rose Garden. It was so dark in there that you could hardly see it.

Two pictures from yesterday to cheer up today's grey scene: a fine picture of a Little Egret preening south of the river by David Element ...

... and a bright Goldfinch on a teasel at Rainham Marshes by Tom.


  1. Goldfinches and Little Owls will make even the dullest days better.

    I know you dislike Dickens, but "fine figure of a gull" reminds me of Joe Gargery's "fine figure of a woman", from Great Expectations, said of a similarly violent and rampaging creature.

    1. Yes, I don't think you ever say 'a fine figure of a ...' without a certain element of fear.