Sunday 1 January 2023

A New Year owl

A very happy New Year to everyone. The male Little Owl by the Speke obelisk perched in front of his hole to mark the occasion.

A Blue Tit here has started coming out of the brambles to be fed on the ground. It's seen the four Great Tits getting fed every time I come to look for the owl.

The pair of Chaffinches in the Flower Walk are now following me most of the way to the Round Pond. This look from the female means 'Will you stop pointing that thing at me and produce a pine nut?'

The Robin at the Henry Moore sculpture was in a better mood and came out to be fed.

The male Blackbird in the Dell also accepted some raisins, of which Blackbirds are particularly fond.

A Pied Wagtail on the edge of the Serpentine hunted among fallen leaves and rubbish.

The Black-Headed Gull at the landing stage uttered menacing cries at some gulls that were coming too near his territory.

The new turf laid in the Diana fountain enclosure is being pulled up (and not put back because the gardeners are not allowed any initiative and only do things on orders from the central office). I thought this was the work of Carrion Crows, which often turn over turf to look for worms, but it turns out to be Herring Gulls. Probably they get more worms this way than by doing their dance.

The female Peregrine arrived on the barracks during the morning.

Cormorants, though, were leaving. There were a dozen on the Long Water in the morning but half of these soon flew off to find somewhere better.

There are still fish to be had. Ahmet Amerikali got a picture of one with a fair-sized perch under the Italian Garden. But the Cormorants now have to work hard to find anything worthwhile.

The Little Grebe in the Italian Garden has finally annoyed the Gadwalls so much that they have gone down to the main lake. It was lurking in the irises.

A pair of Mandarins preened on the edge of the Serpentine. They are never more than occasional visitors, having discovered that attempts to breed in the park are hopeless because of the hungry gulls.

A pair of Canada Geese washed and flapped together at the Lido. Synchronised washing is a way of expressing their relationship.

Just me and you and Pikachu.


  1. Happy New Year Ralph

  2. Happy New Year to all !

  3. May the birds thrive through drought and downpour and the narratives keep coming in 2023 to reward your application and keen eye. Thanks for your indefatigable efforts and skills that have given so much enlightenment and entertainment over the last year and may it continue throughout the next. Joe

  4. Happy New Year, Ralph and all friends! I share Joe's beautifully expressed sentiments and hope that 2023 will be just as full of good pictures and enticing words as all the last decade has been. My but times does fly. It still seems like it was only yesterday that Ralph started the blog.

    Very happy to see that the Little Owl has given us a New Year Gift and graced us with its royal presence.

    1. Thank you all for your good wishes, and I wish you all a happy and successful New Year. I can hardly believe I've been doing this for ten years either, but it's been a most enjoyable decade.

  5. What a great variety of birds for NY, a good omen I hope. Happy New Year to you and keep publishing your fabulous blog

    1. And even a mammal, if that's what Pikachu is.