Thursday, 30 January 2020

The Redwings are back on the Parade Ground after yesterday's disturbance.

There were also two Mistle Thrushes, but so far no Fieldfares.

Several Song Thrushes were singing. This is the one near the leaf yard.

A flock of Long-Tailed Tits hunted along the edge of the Serpentine.

A Robin took pine nuts from a gatepost.

On a fairly mild grey day, both the Little Owls near the Henry Moore sculpture came out at different times. The male perched in front of the hole.

The female owl felt comfortable enough to come out on a branch if she fluffed herself up against the chill.

Some of you may already have seen the story about the Little Owl that was too fat to fly, but for those who haven't here it is. The Suffolk Owl Sanctuary does fine work rehabilitating owls and raptors and where possible releasing them back into the wild.

The male Peregrine was preening on the barracks tower.

The Grey Heron sitting on the nest on the south side of the island looked uncomfortable and kept getting up and changing position. It's a rather small nest by heron standards, and needs more work.

A Herring Gull tackled a very stale poppyseed roll. It really had to exert itself to bite chunks off it.

The pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull is now in full breeding plumage and looking very fine.

When Coots start fighting, others rush to join in.

The fountains in the Italian Garden are working again after a week-long unblocking operation. The white marble fountain was cleaned a few years ago but within a week it was as green as ever. The statues are made of Portland limestone, rather eroded after almost 160 years.

Mark Williams and a friend discovered a Red Admiral Butterfly in St James's Park sluggish with cold. They gave it some cappuccino froth which it seemed to like, and it revived and flew away.

Another fine picture by Tom from Elmley National Nature Reserve on the Isle of Sheppey. A female Sparrowhawk somehow managed to perch on a remarkably spiky branch.


  1. I’m looking forward to seeing the Redwings when I go to the Park tomorrow.

    1. The best place is behind the bandstand on the Serpentine Road.

  2. I wonder how a wild Little Owl managed to make itself so fat it couldn't take off. Vultures are known to eat so much in one sitting that they will exceed maximum take off weight now and then, but usually after being grounded for a couple of days they regain the ability to fly without issue.

    Coot fighting looks more and more like a way to idle the time away while waiting for nest-building season to begin.

    1. The Suffolk Owl Sanctuary's guess seems sensible, but it is an odd affair.

  3. P.S.: Do butterflies drink coffee?!

    1. Not much coffee in cappuccino froth, I suppose. But not much sugar either.

  4. Another great Redwing shot- the red colour here almost looks like a bloody wound. Song Thrushes singing here too.

    I read that story of the obese Little Owl yesterday that was taken into care + put on a diet- bizarre story indeed.

    The Red Admiral looked in good nick. Let's hope it could find somewhere to shelter until warmer days.

    1. I was amazed by the owl story. But see Tinúviel's comment on vultures above.

    2. This is one of the most famous cases:

      Note the vulture landed right in the middle of a healthcare centre!