Thursday 9 March 2023

Little Owl braves the drizzle

On a drizzly day it was a surprise to see the male Little Owl coming out of the dead tree by the Round Pond. He went back after a couple of minutes.

His mate stayed indoors and looked out of the hole on the other side of the tree.

The flock of Redwings was still chattering all over the trees between here and the leaf yard.

The south end of the Parade Ground is now too busy during working hours for the Redwings there to come down, but there was a small flock of Long-Tailed Tits in the trees by the road.

A Song Thrush near the bridge emerged from the bushes ...

... and caught a worm.

The Pied Wagtail was still in the Italian Garden hunting midges from the rails around the planters.

A Carrion Crow near the Albert Memorial dunked food in a puddle.

A Magpie wandered through the crocuses on the East Lawn.

The Grey Heron chicks on the island were preening. I suppose you have to go on calling these great gawky creatures 'chicks' until they are fledged and out of the nest.

An adult preened on the ground below. Jenna tells me that this is a very elderly heron who has fallen down the pecking order as he gets older and weaker. It happens to us all.

Beside the reed bed east of the Lido a pair of Coots discovered a dead colleague and briefly examined the corpse before swimming off. I don't think Coots have the intellect to mourn dead companions as corvids do.

A pair of Great Crested Grebes mooched around near the reeds. They have nested here in the past, but never successfully as they insist on building the nest on the outside of the netting instead of coming in through the hole cut for them and nesting in the reeds.

The Little Grebe in the Italian Garden was diving under the fountain and came up with a larva.

A pair of Egyptian Geese washed and preened together on the Serpentine.

A Mallard drake had a frantic wash by himself in the little stream in the Dell.

A rosemary bush in the Rose Garden has come out in pretty blue-mauve flowers.


  1. The picture of the Magpie among the crocus is astonishingly beautiful. The camera is earning its keep!
    Did the Coots recognize that their fellow Coot was dead? I wonder why they'd investigate otherwise.

    1. To be cynical, I think the Coots were looking to see if it was alive and could be attacked. Finding it unresponsive, they lost interest.

    2. Cynism tends to get it right most of the time, so...