Monday 6 September 2021

Yesterday I distantly heard a female Little Owl calling on Buck Hill. Today she was calling from a lime tree near the Italian Garden. I wonder whether she is the owlet hatched here a couple of years ago.

The male Little Owl near the Speke obelisk was in the chestnut tree where I saw the female yesterday.

A Wren was making a fuss in the brambles underneath, but this may not have been at the owl as I couldn't find him till a second visit.

A Chiffchaff searched for insects among unripe holly berries in the tree near the bridge.

The female Peregrine was on the tower.

A Feral Pigeon sunbathed at a dangerous angle on the roof of one of the small boathouses.

A Grey Heron was also enjoying the sun at the Vista.

A heron in a fountain in the Dell caught two small carp. A Coot chick wisely kept its distance.

A young Herring Gull that had caught a crayfish dodged an attempt to grab it, removed the claws to make it easier to swallow, and then decided to play with it before eating it. This went on for quite a time. I didn't wait to see when the gull finally got bored and swallowed it.

The teenage Great Crested Grebe on the Serpentine flapped its wings. I haven't yet seen it trying to fly.

The two younger grebe chicks are now quite large. Each one has one parent to feed it.

A young Moorhen sifted through the algae on the Long Water looking for small edible creatures.

Another snail, a very small one, had climbed to the top of the spiked railings. I just don't see the attraction of these lumps of iron.

The Turkish hazelnut trees between Peter Pan and the Italian Garden have produced some huge nut clusters.

Paul is lucky enough to live in a part of London that still has House Sparrows, but it does mean that he is getting through industrial quantities of birdseed in his feeders.

Tom was at Rainham and got a picture of a Wheatear. I haven't seen one in the park for years.


  1. Thanks to you and Paul for the sparrows! Most of them look young. I used to feed Goldfinches (plus some Greenfinches and Bluetits) with a window feeder, until a neighbour railed at me: apparently I was solely responsible for all the feral pigeons on the estate, which were attracted by it. (and then scaffolding covered the house for 18 months anyway). P.S. pigeon numbers seem undiminished, and I can sometimes hear the Goldfinches in the trees.

    1. You could haver a pigeon-proof feeder with a wire cage around it. Mine is also parakeet- and squirrel-proof, though I had to add a strong wire clip over the top to achieve the last of these.

    2. Thanks , I'll have a re-think.

  2. Rainham looks like a bird paradide. Always a new pleasing surprise.

    The look of love on the Grebe parent looking at its chick!

    What excellent news, that the new Little Owl may be an owlet from two years ago! Who knows how many more there may be, perhaps living their secret lives.

    1. Rainham Marshes really is a remarkable place. It was spared from development by having been an Army firing range since World War I.