Saturday 10 December 2022

Two owls at the obelisk

Both Little Owls near the Speke obelisk were visible today. First I found the male on an oak.

Then there was a movement higher up in the tree, and I got a hasty shot of the female before she jumped down the back of the trunk.

Almost at once I saw an owl flying away. Thinking it was her, I rushed over to where the owl landed to get a better picture. But it was the male who had left -- note the bloodstain on his beak probably from eating a rat,  a prey he has been seen with before.

Luckily Belinda Davie got a good picture of the female yesterday.

A Carrion Crow shone in the low sunshine on an urn in the Italian Garden.

A Robin perched on one of the notices showing the birds and insects in Hyde Park.

(In fact you'd be very lucky to see a Tawny Owl in Hyde Park, since they live in the greenhouse enclosure where there is no public access, and seeing them here is even harder because the trees are covered in ivy. The only person I know who has seen one here is Vinny the policeman, who was going past the Rima relief one day at dusk and spotted one out on a branch.)

A Pied Wagtail was hunting along the edge at the Dell restaurant. This looks like the female I saw here on 2 December.

The pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull had also been hunting here, and was enjoying his lunch.

Black-Headed Gulls walked on the thin ice on the Long Water. The one on the right kept going too close to the edge and falling through.

The pair of Great Crested Grebes had moved down to the willow tree near the bridge to avoid being trapped in the ice.

A Moorhen looked for insects in the algae on a fountain in the Italian Garden, getting absolutely pelted with freezing water but it didn't seem to mind.

Another came out of a bush on to the frosted grass in the Dell.

An Egyptian Goose preened and flapped, with the sunshine lighting up the iridescent green secondary feathers in its wings.

The unfaithful swan and his new mate were preening at the Vista.

The rejected female was only a few yards away, but safe from harassment because she was separated by a wide patch of ice.

While I was taking these pictures a Wren suddenly appeared out a bush, but it refused to turn round so I only got a picture of its tail before it vanished into the brambles.

The Diana fountain is closed because of an 'Unpredicted Issue', which sounds sinister. I hope they aren't trying to exterminate the foxes who have taken up residence there. But these have been present for months, so you can hardly call them unpredicted.


  1. "Unpredicted issue". There is nothing half so ominously menacing as legalese or bureaucratise that is kept willingly vague. It sounds like a page taken from 1984 - clarity of thought and clarity of expression are anti-IngSoc and thus must be stamped out.

    I am amazed that the Little Owls are still turning up. I would have thought they would have sheltered themselves in their holes by now to spend the winter anot not pop up their fluffly heads till it's less barbarically cold.

    1. I have a nasty idea what a Predicted Issue would be like. It's the mess our governments are deliberately pushing us into.