Monday 30 August 2021

A dank and chilly morning kept the Little Owl in her hole, but she came out briefly during the afternoon and I got a distant shot before she went back in.

A Wood Pigeon got a good haul of ripe blackberries in a bramble patch.

Carrion Crows drank in the Huntress fountain in the Rose Garden.

Andrew Skeet took this picture of a Jay bathing in the pool at the Hudson Memorial, which was made specially as a bathing and drinking place for birds in honour of the naturalist W.H. Hudson. (The Epstein relief of Rima behind the pool commemorates his fame as a popular novelist, as she is the heroine of his bestseller Green Mansions.)

A Greenfinch appeared in a treetop near the bridge ...

... and a Blue Tit looked a bit out of place in the long grass.

A Cormorant scratched its chin on a post at the Serpentine island.

There were several on the Long Water.

I get the impression that there are more fish in the Long Water this year than in the Serpentine. 

A Great Crested Grebe on the Long Water brought a fish to one of the two chicks ...

... which could be seen dashing around and climbing on to a parent's back.

But on the Serpentine the prey is more usually crayfish ...

... which Lesser Black-Backed Gulls were also hauling up all over the lake. These two pictures were taken over an hour apart and in different places, but it looks like the same gull.

Red-Crested Pochard drakes on the Long Water surrounded a solitary female.

A Gadwall enjoyed a thorough rinse.

The drake of this pair is coming out of eclipse and beginning to look smarter.


  1. I wonder how gulls are able to dive for crayfish. They seem capable of learning to do almost anything.

    It's odd to see a Blue Tit in the grass. What could it be doing in there?

    I suppose Little Owls must hate damp weather. I think I read they thrive in Mediterranean climates.

    1. The larger gulls are surprisingly good at diving into fairly shallow water, despite looking ill designed for that. They don't swim under water -- they just plunge in from a height, grab and surface. There are several pictures of various stages of the dive in recent blog posts.

      Little Owls are at the northern end of their range here. They can survive the English winter, and even more severe Continental winters, by spending most of the time sheltered in tree holes.