Sunday 12 December 2021

The elusive Little Owl on Buck Hill has turned up. I heard faint calls from a tree beside the path at the top of the hill, inside the area marked by Andy Williams on his map shown on Friday's blog post.

And there she was, looking down from an old squirrel drey of dead leaves.

The Mistle Thrush was in the rowan on the other side of the path, though I couldn't get a clear shot.

A mild day started a Song Thrush singing in the Flower Walk. There was another one singing beside the Long Water.

A Robin sang in the Rose Garden. The din of the Winter Wasteland can be heard in the background, but luckily the microphone is quite directional and has toned it down.

A Wood Pigeon ate the flowers off a berberis bush in the Dell.

A band of Long-Tailed Tits passed through the hawthorn trees just to the west of the Italian Garden, which is the best place in the park to photograph them as the trees are quite low and the light is good even on a rather dim day.

A couple of Great Tits were tagging along with the flock.

A Blue Tit pecked at a twig in a tree near the Dell.

Three Grey Herons had a squabble near the bridge.

A Cormorant at the island was already in breeding plumage, with a white patch on its side and bristly white feathers on its head.

The four teenage Mute Swans were with their father at Peter Pan, a common enough sight.

But approaching them was the fifth young swan, which was trying to join the family a few months ago. It disappeared and I thought it might even be dead, as someone had reported a dead young swan on the Serpentine -- but no, there it was.

It was promptly chased off by one of the four. It's only the youngsters that resent it: the hyper-aggressive adult male seems perfectly happy with its presence.

A pair of Gadwalls browsed in the Italian Garden.

A little flock of Tufted Ducks looked decorative near the Triangle car park.

By the time I had photographed all these creatures it was beginning to get dark.


  1. Great to be back to the land of the living and to so many lovely pictures and videos, and to our gorgeous Little Owl!

    Very glad to see the young Swan alive and kicking. Does it still wish to get adopted, or is it too grown up for it to be of any consequence?

    1. I think the young swan just wants company. They are naturally gregarious until they grow up and develop a lust for dominance and territory.

  2. Lovely to see the Little Owl again.

    Seems to be very quiet bird wise around London at the moment- a view shared by others I've bumped into.

    1. Yes. I'm really going round a few birds again and again. The expected surge of winter migrants seems to have petered out quickly.