Monday 26 December 2022

The Speke Little Owl emerges

Two Little Owls could be seen today: the female near the Speke obelisk, perfectly camouflaged in an oak ...

... and the young one by the Round Pond, still obstinately at the back of the hole in spite of the bright sunshine.

A Robin in the Flower Walk ticked irritably at another on the other side of the path, which you can also hear.

A Long-Tailed Tit clung to the underside of a twig near the Italian Garden.

The Jackdaws in the Rose Garden came out for their daily peanuts.

A Pied Wagtail on the edge of the Serpentine was prettily backlit by the low sun.

The Grey Herons' nest on the island had one bird in it ...

... while the other was taking time off gathering twigs and having a preen on a boat.

Herons, like Coots, never stop adding twigs to their nest while it's in use. This can have unfortunate consequences: a few years ago a nest of the island with three young in it got so heavy that it broke the branch it was on, and two of the three were killed.

The Black-Headed Gull at the landing stage was guarding his territory.

Usually a Moorhen can knock a Black-Headed Gull off a post simply by advancing on it, but this one refused to go. I filmed them for another full minute after this and the gull was still in place.

Another Moorhen preened on a fallen branch at Peter Pan.

The Little Grebe was preening in the Italian Garden.

It had been fishing alongside a pair of Gadwalls that it was using for cover.

Aside from these two there were another seven Gadwalls on the Long Water. We don't usually have so many, but they come and go at random from the other parks.

The new pair of Mute Swans had moved back to the Italian Garden.

They fly in but it's hard to take off from there, so they usually climb out through the marble fountain, jumping awkwardly down the steps, squeezing through the railings, and tumbling into the lake from the bowl of the fountain. I managed to film this once but it wasn't a good shot, and I must try to capture it again in more detail.


  1. I suspect what swans lack in agility they more than make up for in strength, or rather brawns. No need for mobility when you can charge your way up or through anything.

    Remarkably resilient gull, even more stubborn than the climbing moorhen.

    1. The swans do look ridiculous when getting out. It's mainly a series of small falls and a medium-sized one to splash into the lake..

      The Moorhen and the Black-Headed Gull can't really hurt each other in that position. Either can peck but they are about equal there. So it's a matter of the gull keeping its nerve.