Thursday, 16 June 2022

Another Little Owl family

The Little Owls at the Serpentine Gallery have at least one owlet, which I heard hissing in a sweet chestnut tree -- this is their begging call. I couldn't see it but I did get a picture of the female adult.

This is one of two owlets from the family near the Round Pond. I'm not sure whether the hole in the dead tree is the nest hole. The owlet looked around, heard its sibling hissing, and started itself.

Their mother watched from a horse chestnut tree.

It's hard for Little Owls to hunt for their usual food, worms and beetles on the ground, during the day because of people and dogs in the park, but they seem to manage. Two years ago Julia filmed a Little Owl bringing a large caterpillar from a tree to its young.

There was an unruly mob of young tits in the Flower Walk. Here are a young Long-Tailed Tit ...

... a young Great Tit ...

... and a rather careworn Blue Tit parent.

A Wren beside the Long Water was also looking a bit tattered.

The young Starlings are now fending for themselves. A gang bickered over a hamburger bun at the Lido restaurant.

Martin Sacks has been feeding a pair of Blackbirds and their young at his home, with grated mozzarella from Waitrose (only the best will do). They have now raised six fledglings from two clutches.

A Grey Heron on the boat platform caught two small fish. It's remarkable how far they can lean down without losing their balance.

One of the herons that hang around near the bridge was sunbathing in the Chinese privet tree.

The Coots in the high nest next to the Dell restaurant have hatched two new chicks, with more eggs possibly to hatch. This is their second brood this year after they lost the first to marauding gulls.

I haven't seen any successful Moorhen nests this year, but the birds are very good at concealing them. A Moorhen ate algae on the dead willow near the Italian Garden.

An Emperor Dragonfly hunted in the nearby reedbed ...

... but that was an ordinary sight compared to a Large Red Damselfly ...

... and some Azure Damselflies found by Duncan Campbell on a tour of the Ranger's Lodge garden.

The patch of eryngium at the east end of the Lido has begun to flower, and is already attracting Honeybees.

Yesterday Tom found the Household Cavalry practising tentpegging. The idea is to impale and pick up a tentpeg with your lance. It is not a game but an actual military manoeuvre when one is launching a cavalry attack on an encampment, as one does. Removing the tentpegs causes the tent to fall down, and the enemy can be speared at leisure at they struggle to get out.


  1. Good to see so many youngsters & the Odonata too.

    1. I can't get into the Ranger's Lodge garden myself, bit the nearby Rima pool is also full of duckweed and might have some damselflies of interest.

  2. Hi Ralph,

    Going to go and have a look for the owls tomorrow or Sunday, Where's the best place to look?


    1. Please write to me privately. We don't want hundreds of people disturbing them.

    2. I found them this morning by the Round Pond, hope they remain undisturbed.

    3. They are quite shy. I'm not publishing the exact location of either family.

  3. I think I read somewhere that charging with the bayonet is till taught to British recruits, and that they learn by sticking the bayonet at a dummy while singing "how does the grass grow - mud mud mud mud"


    1. I can believe it. British Army songs are very peculiar.