Wednesday, 15 January 2020

On a sunny but windy day, two Little Owls were on view. The female owl near the Henry Moore sculpture was scratching when I arrived holding the stills camera ...

... but annoyingly stopped as soon as I reached for the video camera. Anyway, I got a few seconds of her looking around warily from an exposed position at risk from the local Carrion Crows and Magpies.

The male near the Albert Memorial came out in the afternoon when the sun was shining through the crack in the top of the hole.

A male Chaffinch flew down on to the path near the bridge, lured out by some sunflower seeds I had thrown on the ground.

Both Coal Tits came out again and again for pine nuts.

A Great Tit gave me an imperious stare from the winter flowering cherry.

A Carrion Crow beside the Serpentine checked a bread bag to see if anything was left it in it.

Far too many visitors arrive with bags of stale, sometimes even mouldy, white bread, dump the contents in the lake and then drop the bag.

This Black-Headed Gull with a white plastic ring marked 5NE is from Denmark. I'll know more about it when I hear back from the ringer to whom I've just reported it.

We already have a regular Danish visitor, 0HV, which has come to the Round Pond for several winters.

A Mute Swan seemed to be nesting on the bank at the back of the Lido. Needless to say, this is a terrible place, exposed to foxes and the dogs of irresponsible owners.

Sadly, the young Mute Swan that was stranded on the bank of the Long Water has fallen victim to a fox. I thought it had escaped when I didn't see it again, but today there were some tattered remnants behind the fence.

It was not the offspring of the dominant pair who had chased it up there. I saw that young swan today at the Vista with its mother.

The latest picture of the young Black Swan at St James's Park, sent in by Joan Chatterley, shows it with an odd two-tone neck. I think it must be growing adult fully black plumage from the head down, though this seems to have come a surprisingly short time after it had got its last coat of feathers. Swans do get dark-stained necks from poking around in algae, but not with such a sharp dividing line.

A Pochard drake shone in the sunshine near the Diana fountain ...

... and so did a Shoveller feeding at the Vista.

The patch of wood chips under the plane trees near Physical Energy has now been completely taken over by Sulphur Tuft mushrooms. As one crop withers, another comes up.


  1. Poor young swan :-( It had barely begun its life.

    I know you've mentioned it before, but for how long has that female Little Owl known you? I know it's several years.

    The Chaffinch is looking splendid. I cannot see its feet very well - is it free from that foot disease going around?

    1. I've known that owl for almost eight years, since she and her mate arrived as adults in April 2012.

      I'm not sure about the Chaffinch, but I think it's OK. I should have zoomed in more, but they're very hard to keep in shot as they bustle around.