Thursday 22 July 2021

Tom has found a Little Owl family in Kensington Gardens, the first good sighting we've had for months. This is his picture of the male in a tree near the Speke obelisk ...

... and here is mine of the female near the leaf yard. There was at least one chick calling from a tree near the obelisk.

The female was being harassed by Chaffinches. Sorry about the mechanical noise -- it's the leaf siever in the leaf yard, which can be heard a mile away and has spoilt many a video.

A young Jay in a tree beside the Long Water pestered its parent to feed it. It's quite big enough to feed itself now.

A Great Spotted Woodpecker called from a tree near the bridge.

This is one of the parents of the two young Robins near the Albert Memorial.

A Great Tit stared down imperiously from a nearby twig.

Ahmet Amerikali took this picture of a young Dunnock in Southwark Park.

The Polish Black-Headed Gull with ring code T8YT, a regular visitor, is back on the Serpentine from its summer breeding ground.

The third pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull called triumphantly beside its latest victim near the Triangle car park.

This Herring Gull has only one foot, but is having no difficulty catching and eating crayfish.

A Cormorant fishing in the fountain pools in the Italian Garden got out to dry its wings.

Another fishing in the Long Water caught a perch, and needed to turn it round to swallow head first because of the fish's spiny dorsal fin. Usually Cormorants can do this quickly and neatly, but for some reason this bird was having a hard time managing it.

The Great Crested Grebe chick from the willow near the bridge was back on the nest with a parent. It's getting quite big.

A Mallard brought five newly hatched ducklings out of the reed bed below the Italian Garden.

A pair of Mute Swans and their three cygnets enjoyed the long grass on the shore near the Serpentine island. The male parent became rather insistent on being fed.

Lastly, another picture by Tom of a Tawny Owl in Richmond Park. Although we have two pairs of Tawnies here -- one in the trees around the greenhouses, the other near the Diana memorial playground -- they are almost impossible to photograph. But we live in hope.


  1. Oh my God, oh my God, Little Owls at last! And the chance to glimpse owlets!!!
    (yeah, this merits multiple exclamation marks).

    Did you end up feeding the pushy male swan? I guess it is useless to try to teach manners to a hungry swan.

    Yes, we live in hope. Sooner or later, the tawnies will made themselves visible.

    1. Of course I'll be going past this area every day listening for the hissing of owlets. I know the tree where they were heard, but the young may already be mobile.

      Yes, I was with Virginia when we saw the swan family. I gave him some sunflower hearts which he didn't like, Virginia gave him some duck pellets which he did, but he wouldn't stop pecking at our bags hoping to find something tastier, and at our shins when he didn't.

  2. Good to hear you have a successful family of Little Owls, Ralph. Also nice to see a Tawny gracing your blog again. Let's hope a more accommodating appears in the park.

    1. The Tawnies near the greenhouses live in an ivy-covered tree in an inaccessible area. The ones in the far northwest corner of Kensington Gardens may live in the palace grounds or in a nearby garden square and only visit the park to hunt. That's what makes it so difficult to see them.

  3. Hurrah for the Little owls! Felicity.