Saturday 30 July 2022

Chaffinch family at the leaf yard

Two Little owlets perched together in a horse chestnut tree near the Round Pond. It was impossible to find a good angle for a shot of both of them, but here anyway are my best efforts.

The female Little Owl at the Serpentine Gallery can usually be relied on to pose for her portrait.

There was a lot of twittering in the oak trees next to the leaf yard which turned out to be coming from a family of Chaffinches. Here is a young male beginning to get his colourful adult plumage.

A Long-Tailed Tit perched for a moment in a red-leafed plum tree near the bridge.

This picture by Neil shows the male of the Coal Tit pair in the Flower Walk whose female will take food from your hand. The male won't, but he will skilfully catch a pine nut thrown up in the air.

A Great Tit near the bridge had worn and broken head feathers from feeding nestlings.

A Jay had the same thing on a larger scale. This is one of the parents of the two young Jays on the east side of the Long Water.

Young Magpies at the Henry Moore sculpture were puzzled by the sole surviving rabbit. Thanks to Neil for this picture.

I'm told that there are rabbits in Hyde Park, so there's a chance that this place will be repopulated despite the best efforts of the foxes.

Cormorants are steadily returning now, and there were three on the fallen poplar at the Vista.

A dramatic picture by David Element of one of them swallowing a large carp.

The Coots that nested against a post at Peter Pan and raised two chicks are feeling the urge to nest again, and were building a new nest at a different post. One of the teenagers tried vaguely to help but was shooed out of the way. The other was eating a strawberry, which is unusual as most birds find them too watery to bother with.

The female Mute Swan from the nesting island was also here, chasing a Canada Goose that had got too close to her cygnets.

The other swan family on the Long Water, from the gravel bank at the Vista, had gone under the bridge and come out on the Serpentine.

This is one of those pictures where you kick yourself afterwards for missing something interesting. I was taking a routine shot of a pair of Canadas that looked as if they were thinking of nesting on the raft in the Long Water, and didn't notice a Tufted Duck with three ducklings cruising across in front of them. So they are out of focus. I'll try to find them again.

Two female Emperor dragonflies laid eggs on leaves in one of the fountain pools in the Italian Garden. There are always plenty of Emperors here in summer.

This rather tattered dragonfly is a Norfolk Hawker, not in the park but actually in Norfolk, photographed at Thorpe Marshes by Joan Chatterley.


  1. I think the Owlets are doing that on purpose.

    Coots like the colour red, so perhaps they will find strawberries intriguing, even if they taste like nothing to them. Sometimes I think they are like overly bellicose toddlers.

    Your picture of the tufties reminds me of a celebrated occassion in which we missed a dozen snipes because we were focusing on taking pictures of a couple of stilts. We haven't lived that down.

    1. Yes, no doubt it's the red of strawberries that interests Coots.

      I'm sure these missed opportunities happen to every photographer, though some are too proud to admit it.

  2. The stilts would be favoured in the UK, of course.

    Young chaffinch doing a mighty fine Wryneck impression there. Jim

    1. You had me worried for a moment about the Chaffinch. A Wryneck has been seen once in the park, several years ago by Sanford Sorkin.