Tuesday 6 December 2022

The Little Owl enjoys the sunshine

Sunlight brought out the male Little Owl near the Speke obelisk.

But a chilly wind over the exposed Round Pond kept the other one in his hole -- and also a squirrel lying on the edge of the hole, though the owl could have left by the back entrance.

Another squirrel in the Flower Walk was rolling up a ball of plant fibres to take up a tree to a drey it was building.

At the Round Pond, a Starling had a furious wash.

It takes plenty of maintenance to keep a bird as shiny as this.

The Black Swan was on the pond looking magnificent, with visitors taking pictures from every angle. He is another high-maintenance bird who has to spend a lot of time  preening his fine ruffles.

A Great Spotted Woodpecker worked over a horse chestnut tree beside the pond. These trees have been badly hit by leaf miner moth, so there's plenty of larvae for the bird to dig out.

Another woodpecker appeared on a tree near the Rose Garden, infuriatingly moving to the back of the branch every time I dashed around to get an angle, so this was the best picture I could manage.

In the garden the familiar Robin posed obligingly against a background of yellow leaves.

The Jackdaws here now always turn up to be fed.

A Goldcrest came out of a yew tree in the Dell and perched on a high branch.

A female Pied Wagtail hunted among drifted leaves at the Lido.

At the bridge a young Lesser Black-Backed Gull made juvenile begging calls at an adult in order to get a share of a pigeon which the adult had caught. The adult is the gull near the Triangle car park which is now the second most proficient pigeon killer after the famous original one. It still has a lot to learn about hunting technique, but is now getting a victim every few days.

There are still quite a few Cormorants. Two preened on the fallen poplar at the Vista ...

... and Ahmet Amerikali got a good shot of one catching a perch under the Italian Garden, but he had to wait for it because they are no longer catching a fish every minute.

The female Mute Swan in the Italian Garden has evidently not forgiven her mate for his infidelity. Seen here in the far pool, she kept her back turned to him.

A Gadwall drake cruised past Peter Pan in the low afternoon light.


  1. I fear divorce is in the cards. Gulls are known to divorce good for nothing mates, so I guess swans might too.
    We do seem to be getting ever more beautiful black swans with every passing year! Juvenal would faint dead.

    1. It's due to Juvenal that the first reports by white men visiting Australia and reporting Black Swans were flatly disbelieved. Travellers' tales, they said, pull the other one. Finally someone brought a pair to Jakarta and the truth was reluctantly acknowledged,