Monday, 23 November 2020

Look who's back! The female Little Owl on Buck Hill, whom I haven't seen for eleven weeks, was on the branch of the lime tree where her usual hole is.

Note: This larger picture is an experiment. Blogger have increased the maximum allowed size to 1600 pixels wide. Please let me know if you have trouble viewing it. For now I will keep the other pictures within the usual limit of 1024 pixels wide.

A Grey Heron was repairing the top nest on the island.  It's ridiculously early for them to start thinking about nesting, but the herons in the park mess around for months before they start.

Another heron gave the camera a head-on stare -- the view that is the last thing a fish sees before it's eaten.

A young heron picked up scraps of food on the edge of the Serpentine, harassed by Black-Headed Gulls. When its sharp beak couldn't grasp the last few small bits it flew off and a waiting Carrion Crow stepped in to take the rest.

Both Peregrines were on the tower.

The pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull had finished his breakfast, and a crow was finishing off the leftovers ...

... while the gull was thinking about lunch.

A Magpie ate a rat it had found somewhere. I do hope the park staff are not poisoning the rats again, which endangers their predators.

Even seeing a Blackbird is an event now. This one at the back of the Lido is probably the one seen near here a couple of weeks ago.

Starlings quarrelled over a piece of Arab flatbread, but every one eventually got a bit of it.

A Chaffinch perched in a treetop near the bridge ...

... and a few Long-Tailed Tits passed by.

Rose-Ringed Parakeets did their best to look inconspicuous among the few remaining leaves.

This is the female Great Crested Grebe from the pair at the east end of the island. She is much darker than her mate, and even when in plain winter plumage doesn't completely lose her neck ruff.

It's never too late for a pair of Mute Swans to do a bit of courting.


  1. Welcome back, Little Owl!!!!! Best news I've had all week. The picture can be viewed perfectly well. She appears to be in bliss.

    Isn't the female Grebe pretty! So elegant, ladylike, and calm.

    1. I had to call to the Little Owl to make her look back over her shoulder. We've known each other for eight and a half years and she takes no notice of me any more.

  2. Good to have the Little Owl back-photo shows okay for me.

    The BTO Garden News that came out last week mentions a low reporting rate for Blackbirds since August. Though in late summer they would be moulting so more secretive there should be plenty now with a mix of resident & wintering birds. Still few here. My Sunday patch is the best with 10 birds, many of which I suspect are migrants. I don't see any in my local park where there are normally several & most other places very low numbers.

    Lovely image of the 2 Mute Swans.

    1. Thanks for the information. Usually migrant Blackbirds include a lot of young males still with dark bills. I haven't seen any of these, and think that the one I've spotted recently must be a resident. I've been round all the places where I know that there are usually Blackbirds without a sighting.