Tuesday, 28 February 2023

The female Little Owl emerges

For a change it was the female Little Owl who was out in the horse chestnut tree, braving the chilly northeast wind. This is the one who is usually seen looking out of the hole in the dead tree where the pair nest.

As it says on a Coade stone plaque on the Albert Hall, 'Who watches is wise.'

Three Long-Tailed Tits jumped around in the bushes at the back of the Lido.

A Coal Tit posed in just the right place in the paperbush in the Flower Walk.

A male Chaffinch perched on another branch.

A female came out of the bushes near the bridge.

A flock of Redwings were chattering in the trees near the Speke obelisk. It's been a good year for Redwings, but it seems that the migrant Fieldfares and Mistle Thrushes have missed us completely.

A Dunnock foraged under the chairs on the Lido restaurant terrace, deserted by humans on a cold day.

The usual female Pied Wagtail was hunting on the edge at the Lido.

A Magpie had been washing in the Serpentine, and perched on a branch to shake itself dry.

Gulls' behaviour can be difficult to interpret, but I think the two Herring Gulls at the back were a pair, and the one in front was a male trying to win over the female.

The Little Grebe in the Italian Garden got another larva. Conehead 54 thinks these are Caddis Fly larvae, but it would need a better picture to make sure. I still can't carry the big camera, which would have provided one, but should be able to start again in a week or so.

The Great Crested Grebes on the Long Water have abandoned their nest, which has been taken over by a Coot. The pair were fishing together under the Italian Garden.

Another pair on the Serpentine were also busy.

The first wild flowers are beginning to come up in the patch in the Rose Garden.


  1. What an odd image. Why would the stone plaque sculptor fashion that face and that expression in the owl? Is it wearing a crown of leaves?
    You never know with gulls if they are trying to kill or court each other.

    1. Now that's a neck. Nefertiti, eat your heart out!
      Grebes are the sweetest and most loving of creatures.

    2. The above is a test, by the way - it didn't let me post the comment in yesterday's post, but it does allow me to post it here. Very weird.

  2. The plaque is quite heavily weathered and the owl probably had a more owl-like expression originally. There are several tens of small shields around the Albert Hall, mostly bearing royal devices but this one seems to the crest of the Fowler family, wrongly moved down from above the shield to on it (the correct blazon on the shield is a chevron between three lions). The owl is wearing a coronet. I can't find any connection between a Fowler and the Albert Hall. The material used for the 'stone' on the exterior of the Albert Hall is Coade stone, a ceramic that has a stone-like appearance and only looks different when you see a larger expanse and notice its uniform creamy beige colour.

    1. PS: no, it isn't a coronet, it's an ivy wreath. Sorry.

    2. It does make sense.