Wednesday, 15 June 2022

Little Owl family

The Little Owls near the Round Pond are a pair, and have two owlets. This is the male in a horse chestnut tree.

The female, whom I photographed yesterday, was looking down from the top of a lime tree.

The owlets were in different horse chestnuts and weren't cooperative about being photographed. All I managed today was a back view of one of them, but with luck there will be other opportunities.

A young Robin in the Flower Walk was just beginning to grow his red breast.

A Wren sang from another bush ...

... and the young Great Tits were demanding to be fed.

Neil sent a good picture of a Dunnock near the bridge.

Yet another pigeon-killing Lesser Black-Backed Gull has appeared on the scene, and was eating a victim in the Italian Garden under the shocked eyes of visitors.

This is definitely not the original gull, which I saw later in his usual place on the Serpentine. Note the distinctive deep yellow colour of his legs. It seems strange that the original gull had so few others copying him for so many years, and now half a dozen are at it.

On a hot day a Coot enjoyed a splash in the Serpentine.

The four Coot chicks at Peter Pan are still in good order. A parent added some laurel leaves to the nest.

(But the laurel wreaths the Romans wore to congratulate themselves were not made of these large leaves, which are from a cherry laurel. They used bay leaves.)

A young female Mute Swan on the Serpentine was bloodstained, though it didn't seem to be seriously injured. Maybe she had got too close to the madly aggressive male at the Lido defending his four cygnets.

Blondie has been moulting and was already regrowing her wing feathers.

The two smaller Egyptian goslings at the Vista were swimming together ...

... while the large adopted one was on the grass with its step-parents.

A Mandarin drake on a post at the Vista was almost completely in eclipse, a shadow of his former magnificence. He will look almost like a female till winter.

A Honeybee revolved on a cranesbill flower near the Lido.


  1. I'm wondering if the number of pigeon-hunting gulls reflects a rebound in the number of human feeders after Covid restrictions, in particular tourists and day-trippers, so that pigeons have been coming back to the park that are not so au fait with the danger from gulls? So that next year the additional gulls will have melted away. Or is the human feeding not much different to a year ago? Jim

    1. It's certainly a tenable theory. Another is that the fall in park visitors during the Great Panic reduced the amount of discarded food that the gulls had depended on and encouraged them to find other sources.

  2. Owl bonanza! Life is good!

    I wonder if the Coot is adding laurel leaves to ward off parasites. Here Black Kites will gather cigarette filters for their nests because nicotine keeps off nest parasites.
    The abudance of new pigeon killers is another example of the hoary maxim, nothing happens and then everything happens.


    1. I hadn't heard about the Black Kites and cigarette filters. Wonder how they found out. The habit may lapse as more and more people give up smoking.

      The English saying is 'You wait hours for a bus and then three come along at once.'